Nicva launches £2.1m leadership project

A willingness to network among funding criteria, says Northern Ireland umbrella body

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action has launched a £2.1m programme to boost the leadership of voluntary and community organisations in the region.

Community-based organisations in both Northern Ireland and border counties of the Republic of Ireland can apply for inclusion on the three-year programme, which is funded by the International Fund for Ireland to improve the leadership capacity of community groups.

Nicva will support between 30 and 35 organisations. It will make its selection on criteria such as their levels of need, what stage of development they're at, how much they stand to gain from the programme, their commitment to learning and development and their willingness to network with others.

Each successful organisation will receive a grant of £2,500 to develop a project of their choice as part of the programme.

The programme is the fourth part of a wider initiative by the IFI, started in 1993 to provide training opportunities for community groups. For each phase, the IFI picks one sector body and donates funds that enable it to implement the programme.

In this case, IFI funding will enable Nicva to cover the cost of administering the programme and the provision of dedicated facilitators to coordinate leadership training. It will also go towards organising workshops so that all the groups can meet and discuss key issues.

Sandra Bailie, skills development manager at Nicva, said: "We are aiming to build the capacity of disadvantaged community groups and demonstrate real outcomes for the groups in the communities they serve."

Expressions of interest must be submitted by 20 February.

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