Lost in Austerity: Rethinking the Community/Voluntary Sector

Niall Crowley (Independent Equality Consultant and ex-chief executive of the Equality Authority )

Brookfield Lecture Theatre G05, UCC 01:00 :: 23rd February 2012

The ISS21 Civil Society Research Cluster is delighted to present

This event will also formally launch the ISS21 Civil Society Cluster by Dr Linda Connolly, Director of ISS21.

Since onset of the current economic crisis, the voluntary and community sector in Ireland has been faced with dramatic challenges in continuing to provide vital services and avenues for participation for some of the most vulnerable groups in Irish society. The impact of rising unemployment, cuts to incomes and basic public services have placed increasing strains on communities and led to increased needs which the sector has been expected to meet. At the same time voluntary and community groups themselves have suffered cuts in funding alongside the impact of rationalisation of structures and service provision.

This event, which is hosted by the Civil Society Research Cluster of the Institute of Social Sciences in the 21st Century in UCC, aims to provide a platform for representatives from the voluntary and community sector to highlight the challenges they face. It is also hoped that it will inform academic researchers about current issues of concern to the sector.

Niall Crowley has been invited to outline his thoughts of the impact of austerity measures on the voluntary and community sector. Niall, who famously resigned as Chief Executive of the Equality Authority in 2008 over cuts to its funding, has a long background in the voluntary and community sector and is currently involved with the Claiming Our Future initiative.

The conference will include a panel comprised of people currently involved in front line grass roots work in the community who will relate their own experiences of the impact of the ongoing economic downturn on the local communities with which they work and the work they attempt to carry out. The conference is free and is open to anyone currently working in the voluntary and community sector or any academic researchers wishing to inform their own research in that area.

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