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”.

 

Joint Forum Representatives 

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 15 representatives from across the wider Voluntary and Community Sector. It is chaired by a VCS panel member Chair and Deputy 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.

Joint Forum Chairs & Secretariat

The Joint Forum is jointly chaired currently by Denise Hayward, Volunteer Now 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:

  • Anna Clarke  – Prospect Community (*appointed September 2021)
  • Aoife Mallon – Womens Resource Development Agency (WRDA) (*appointed December 2022)
  • Bob Stronge – Advice NI (Deputy Chair VCS Panel)
  • Charlie Fisher -Development Trusts NI
  • Chris Eisenstadt - BookTrust  (*appointed December 2022)
  • Colm McDaid – Supporting Communities
  • Denise Hayward – (JF Joint Chair/Chair VCS Panel ) –Volunteer Now
  • Gareth Eannetta - NIACRO (*appointed August 2021)
  • Judith Poucher – Clanrye Group
  • Karen Smith -Disability Action
  • Kevin Hanratty –Human Rights Consortium
  • Loraine Griffin – COSTA
  • Noeleen Lynch- Community Transport Association (*appointed December 2022)
  • Paula Powell - British Red Cross (*appointed August 2021)
  • Róisín Wood - Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (*appointed December 2022)

 

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 (JF Joint Chair), Department for Communities (DfC)

  • Bebhinn Ni Bhriain, Department for Communities - Lead Contact/Joint Secretariat  (DfC)

 

Recent Joint Forum meetings

Recent Joint Forum meetings of the current 20-23 term have taken place on the following dates:

  • 23rd June 2021, 11am-1pm, Online Meeting. You can read more about this meeting here.
  • 13th October 2021 , 11am-1pm Online Meeting.You can read more about this meeting here.
  • 22nd February 2022 , 2pm-4pm  Online Meeting.You can read more about this meeting here.
  • 13th April 2022 , 10 am -12.30 pm. In person Meeting. 
  • 27th September 2022 , 10 am -12.30 pm. In person Meeting.

Date of next Joint Forum Meeting:

The next  full Joint Forum meeting is due to be held on Tuesday 7th March 2023.

If you have a query regarding the work of the VCS Panel or the Joint Forum , please contact NICVA secretariat via [email protected]More Joint Forum news and updates can be viewed via the links below.

 

Updates

Joint Forum Voluntary and Community Sector Representatives hold Panel meeting & agree Position Statement on the Cost-of-Living Crisis

Earlier this month, the Joint Forums Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Panel held their most recent VCS Panel meeting and had a full agenda to consider, including agreement of a VCS Panel Position Statement on the current Cost of Living Crisis.

NICVA seeks Voluntary and Community Sector nominations for the Government & Voluntary Sector Joint Forum

NICVA is currently seeking nominations from the voluntary and community sector to represent the sector on the Joint Government Voluntary and Community Sector Forum (Joint Forum).

JOINT FORUM COMMUNIQUÉ MARCH 2022

Catch up on the most recent news & activity happening via the Government and Voluntary & Community Sector Joint Forum.

JOINT FORUM COMMUNIQUÉ OCTOBER 2021

Catch up on the most recent news and developments happening via the Government and Voluntary & Community Sector Joint Forum.

Joint Forum between the Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector - Meeting 23rd June 2021

On 23rd June, the first full meeting of 2021, of the Government and Voluntary & Community Sector Joint Forum (JF) was held online.  

Joint Forum Voluntary and Community Sector Panel for 2020-23 hold First Meeting of New Term

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.

Closing Date to submit nominations for Joint Forum sector representatives

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.

Joint Forum meets to discuss Bureaucracy, Brexit, Community Planning & PfG

The third Joint Forum meeting of 2019 took place on 17 October at NICVA. 

Joint Forum Meeting October 2019

A meeting of the Joint Forum will take place on 17 October 2019 at NICVA.

Upcoming Joint Forum Meeting 6 June 2019

The next meeting of the Joint Forum is due to take place on 6 June 2019 at the Colin Healthy Living Centre in Belfast.

kathy.maguire@nicva.org's picture

Kathy Maguire

Policy Development Officer

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