Joint Government and Voluntary Sector Forum (Joint Forum)
The Joint Forum is made up of representatives from central and local government and the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.
It was established in October 1998 with the purpose of promoting regular dialogue between the voluntary and community sector and Government departments.
The Joint Forum was established with the overarching aim of:
”develop[ing] and lead[ing] an effective working relationship between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector in Northern Ireland”.
The Joint Forum is comprised of both Public Sector (PSG) and Voluntary and Community Sector representatives (VCS Panel).
The Public Sector (PSG) comprises representatives from across the public sector with coordination by the Voluntary and Community division in the Department for Communities (DfC) as Secretariat.
The Voluntary and Community Sector panel (VCS Panel) currently comprises 14 representatives from across the wider Voluntary and Community Sector. It is chaired by a VCS panel member Chair and Co-Chair, who are nominated by panel members and is supported by NICVA as secretariat. VCS panel members are selected by a sub-committee of the NICVA Executive following an open nomination process.
These two groupings make up the Joint Forum and in partnership are charged with taking forward the Forums Work Plan and in helping establish its future direction.
The Joint Forum is jointly chaired by Anne Marie McClure, Start 360 and Sharron Russell , Department for Communities, Voluntary and Community Division.
The Joint Forum's work is supported by NICVA and the Voluntary and Community Division in the Department for Communities (DfC) as joint secretariat.
Voluntary and Community Sector Panel
The current VCS Panel Members are as follows:
Anne-Marie McClure (Joint Chair) – Start 360
Bob Stronge – Advice NI
Charlie Fisher -Development Trusts NI
Colm McDaid – Supporting Communities
Craig McGuicken - NI Environment Link
Denise Hayward – Volunteer Now
Ellen Finlay(Joint Co-Chair) –Children In NI (CiNI)
Jim Girvan- Upper Andersonstown Community Forum
Judith Poucher – Clanrye Group
Karen Smith -Disability Action
Kevin Hanratty –Human Rights Consortium
Loraine Griffin – COSTA
May McAvoy – Superstars Club
Rachel Powell – Womens Resource Development Agency (WRDA)
Public Sector Group/Membership
The PSG comprises representatives from across both central and local government , with coordination by the Voluntary and Community division in the Department for Communities (DfC) as secretariat. The Public Sector Group membership list is currently under development.
The Public Sector Group Contact/Leads are:
Sharron Russell (Joint Chair), Department for Communities (DfC)
Bebhinn Ni Bhriain, Department for Communities - Lead Contact (DfC)
Date of upcoming meetings:
The next Joint Forum meeting will take place as follows:
Full Joint Forum meeting: 23rd June 2021, 11am-1pm, Online Meeting Via Zoom
More Joint Forum news and updates can be viewed via the links below.
On 23rd June, the first full meeting of 2021 of the Government and Voluntary & Community Sector Joint Forum (JF) was held online.
The new Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Panel for the 2020-23 term of the Joint Government and Voluntary Sector Forum has recently been confirmed. The panel held their first meeting (virtually) on Friday the 11th September.
The Joint Forum is comprised of representatives from across government and the voluntary and community sector. It facilitates an open discussion about the relationship between the two sectors.
The third Joint Forum meeting of 2019 took place on 17 October at NICVA.
A meeting of the Joint Forum will take place on 17 October 2019 at NICVA.
The next meeting of the Joint Forum is due to take place on 6 June 2019 at the Colin Healthy Living Centre in Belfast.
The second Joint Forum meeting of the year took place on 19th June in the East Belfast Network Centre. The meeting was attended by representatives from voluntary and community organisations and the public sector.
The first Joint Forum meeting of the year took place on 26th March 2018 in NICVA. The meeting was attended by representatives from voluntary and community organisations, local and central government departments.
The Joint Forum voluntary and community panel seeks a new sector representative in light of a vacancy.
A meeting of the Joint Forum took place on 27th October 2017 in NICVA. The meeting was attended by representatives from voluntary and community organisations, local government and central government departments.
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