Signing up to put the consumer first

CollaborationNI are delighted to have supported the development of new the ‘Consumer Rights Initiative Northern Ireland’.

The Initiative is made up of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland, Advice NI, Citizens Advice and the Law Centre.   The members of the Initiative formally signed their Memorandum of Understanding on Wednesday 7 October 2015.

Pictured back row l to r - Andrew Talbot (CollaborationNI), Pol Callaghan (Citizens Advice), Bob Stronge ( Advice NI), John French (Consumer Council), Glenn Jordan (Law Centre NI), Scott Kennerley (Consumer Council)
Pictured front row l to r -Kelly Andrews (Citizens Advice), Stephen Orme (NI Advice Services Consortium), Leeann Kelly (CollaborationNI), Don Leeson (Consumer Council)

The vision of the partnership is of a Northern Ireland where consumers know who to contact when they have a consumer rights problem, where consumers know that they will be given the help they need and where consumers receive a seamless service regardless of what organisation they contact first.

The Consumer Rights Initiative Northern Ireland will do all this by ensuring consumers receive the advice they need to assert their rights through clear signposting to information and consumer protection bodies and other support.

In 2014, the then Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment made a statement of her intention to ‘work with DSD to ensure greater collaboration between the consumer and advice sectors, with the aim of improving effectiveness of representation and value for money’.   The signing of the ‘Consumer Rights Initiative Northern Ireland’ agreement clearly highlights the strategic commitment by the Consumer Council, Advice NI, Citizens Advice and the Law Centre.  Indeed the leadership demonstrated by the heads of each of these organisations, their boards and senior staff teams has enabled the agreement to be made and indeed will now ensure the Initiative makes a real impact on the ground.

As the Co-ordinator of CollaborationNI, along with our Legal Adviser, Andrew Talbot, it has been a pleasure to support such an innovative partnership.  We have learned a lot from working with such great people.  This is a really exciting opportunity as it brings together high calibre of organisations in a united vision to make things better for the consumer in Northern Ireland.

To find out more about the work of each of these organisations see their websites:

http://www.consumercouncil.org.uk/

http://www.adviceni.net/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland/

http://lawcentreni.org/

Specialised support is available

As the co-ordinator of the CollaborationNI programme we can provide you with tailored and specialised partnership support.  The programme has been independently commissioned and funded by Building Change Trust, therefore the support can be provided to senior leaders and board members of voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations at no cost.

CollaborationNI itself is a partnership made up of NICVA, CO3 and Stellar Leadership.  To find out more about the support available visit our website at www.collaborationni.org or email me at: [email protected].

The opinions, views or comments in this article do not necessarily reflect any views or policies of NICVA.

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