Shared Island: Shared Practices

The Shared Island: Shared Practices project is a joint initiative of NICVA and The Wheel, supported by the Reconciliation Fund and the Department for Communities to engage communities across the island of Ireland around shared challenges.

COVID-19 has presented a once-in-a-century challenge to Irish and global society.

How communities responded the challenges of the COVID-19 has demonstrated important new possibilities. New impetus has been given to innovative remote forms of economic activity and novel provision of social services and supports – especially in social enterprises and the community and voluntary sector. There are many opportunities for more effective and rewarding shared approaches.

The Shared Island: Shared Practices project is an exciting joint initiative of The Wheel and NICVA (Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action) supported by the Reconciliation Fund and the Northern Ireland Department for Communities to engage communities across the island of Ireland around shared challenges.

The project will bring people and communities north and south together to explore key themes, make plans to work together, and showcase what works in our communities. It will identify emergent local, regional, and all-island-level responses to challenges such as transitioning fairly to sustainability, rural connectivity and development, social enterprise models, digital inclusion and remote work, and the impacts from COVID-19 such as on youth mental health and Brexit on European collaboration. 

Over the next nine months, The Wheel and NICVA will facilitate a series of dialogues between community and voluntary groups North and South of the border to identify emergent local, regional, and all-island responses to challenges such as:

  • Rural sustainability
  • Recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Developing the island economy
  • Digital inclusion; and
  • Achieving a just transition to a de-carbonised island.

The initiative will identify and promote community-led responses that promote shared-island economic and social collaboration. A series of podcasts will explore each of the above mentioned- issues, and highlight relevant collaborations North and South.

The Taoiseach’s Office asked the National Economic and Social Council to produce a report to inform the development of the Shared Island initiative as a whole-of-government priority. (Shared Island: Projects, Progress & Policy, Scoping Paper, No.153 February 2021). The report “acknowledges the important role of civil society” and notes the “extensive co-operation between civil society and community organisations across the island of Ireland and Britain, reflecting North-South and East-West interests”

Civil society has a key role to play in pointing the way ahead (in partnership with the public and private sector) and supporting everyone to play their part.  Our shared challenges have never been greater – but neither have the opportunities been more plentiful.

Launch Event & Expression of Interest
The Shared Island: Shared Practices project kicked off with an online event on 6 December 2021. We are happy to report that more than 200 people were in attendance for this gathering, during which we heard from a variety of expert speakers from across Ireland. Watch launch video below...

Following on from the above launch event, we have set up an online expression of interest form for all those wishing to stay informed and up-to-date about what's coming next in the Shared Island: Shared Practices space.

Express you interest

Watch the launch event



Shared Island Supporter Logos


All-Island initiative launched to help communities tackle shared challenges

Press Release

NICVA and The Wheel launch Shared Island, Shared Practices, a new all-island initiative that will bring together communities from across the island to discuss solutions to their shared challenges.'s picture

Suzi Cahn

Shared Island Project Director


Geoff Nuttall Head of Policy and Public Affairs's picture

Share your COVID-19 support service information

Organisations providing support to people and communities during the COVID-19 emergency can share their service information

> Share your support