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National Lottery funding invests in future community leaders

The National Lottery Community Fund is investing £500,000 into a major project to identify and develop leaders, to help secure a positive future for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland.

Fermanagh Trust in partnership with Holywell Trust in Derry/Londonderry and the Rural Community Network a regional support organisation that is based in Cookstown, is delivering ‘Community Leadership in the West,’ an ambitious five-year project which includes new and specific qualifications that support the next generation of leaders, to build their capacity to respond and react confidently to the challenges they face and give them the skills they need to make sure community voices are heard when working with statutory organisations.

Gerard Deane, Director of Holywell Trust in Derry/Londonderry, Kate Clifford, Director of Rural Community Network and Lauri McCusker, Director of Fermanagh Trust in Enniskillen, who are coming together thanks to a £500,000 grant from The National Lottery Community Fund.

A survey carried with 120 organisations in the West in May 2020 showed that young people are largely underrepresented in the governance of community based organisations, with the average age of committee members being 53. Nearly 50% of members have served on the same committee for over 6 years, highlighting the challenges of succession planning. 93.9% of respondents felt that the community would benefit if people were able to access professional community development qualifications locally.

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