NICVA rounds off 2023 with a call for Stormont to get back up and running

10 Dec 2023 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 10 Dec 2023

NICVA CEO Celine McStravick with Shadow Secretary of State for NI Hilary Benn MP

NICVA hosted their annual general meeting on Friday, 8 December 2023 with Shadow Secretary of State Hillary Benn MP in attendance, along with acclaimed international author and speaker Adam Luecking.

NICVA, the umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland, welcomed over 100 of its member organisations to their headquarters to hear about the incredible work being done by the sector, but also to hear Chief Executive Celine McStravick call again for the restoration of the devolved government.

Celine McStravick said: “It has been an incredibly challenging year for the voluntary and community sector. All year long, it has been a series of funding cuts and false dawns – as we wait for politicians to get back to work and get Stormont up and running.

Despite all this uncertainty, our sector continues to provide vital services and deliver for communities – particularly to those who are otherwise marginalised - all across Northern Ireland.

The voluntary and community sector brings people together, campaigns to solve social issues and plays a key role in improving health, peacebuilding and boosting economic growth.

With organisations facing rising costs, falling income and increased demand, many face difficult decisions about how and whether they can continue to support their communities.

We believe these challenges are being caused, and worsened, by the lack of long-term planning and budgeting.

NICVA, and our sector, are calling on all political parties and governments to find a way to restore the NI Executive and deliver for our communities”.

Olwen Lyner, NICVA Executive Committee Chair, said: “2023 has been a year when we’ve been totally without a functioning Executive. This lack of direction and leadership has put incredible pressure on our sector and we’re calling again for the politicians to get Stormont back up and running.

“Without long term planning, budgeting, and collaboration which only Stormont can provide – our sector will not be able to provide the help and support people and communities so desperately need.

“Our sector is working hard but the cracks are really starting to show, and we need a government to work in partnership with.”

The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP said: “These are very difficult times for many people with tough budgets and political uncertainty, and that is why the single most important step that can be taken to change this is to get the institutions up and running so that politicians can do their job and the voluntary sector can make sure that its voice is heard.”

shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Communications Officer

[email protected]

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