29 Sep 2022
Thirty partnerships were formed between organisations North and South under an All-Island Fund set up by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and The Community Foundation for Ireland last year.
The partnerships gathered in the Carrickdale Hotel, not far from the Irish border (27th/28th September) to decide the next steps for working together. The All Island fund supported work on a range of issues ranging from climate action to women and migrant rights. Further focus was given on an all-island ban on gay conversion therapy whilst others focused on young people. Total funding was €410,000.
Across an island of 7 million people, in each and every county communities are working to address everyday challenges that affect our citizens in very similar ways.
A year on from the launch of the fund the partners gathered with leading campaigners from North and South, as well as a range of international speakers to review their work to date and discuss how it can be further advanced.
Dawn Shackles, Director of Programmes, closed the convening with some final remarks:
“There is no doubt that we are dealing with a wide range of serious and indeed very topical issues that respect neither border nor jurisdiction. Finding solutions and sharing knowledge is important to our island, our future, our rights, entitlements, and the environment we live in.
“We have, over the course of this fund and the Convening conference, heard emotive and moving stories through case studies and contributions and I have no doubt that everyone who attended has felt compelled to ensure that the work continues.
“The need for a strong, independent sector and voice was strongly echoed during the conference, and the important role for philanthropy to create and maintain that space.
“Ensuring that those at the coal face of the challenges that exist and who have lived experience are involved at all times is essential in shaping the decision-making process was a central theme.
“The learning that has taken place within organisations, communities, and across the many stakeholders seeking to build support, influence, lobby advocate, and to ultimately make change has been immense.
“Both Community Foundations on this island understand that it can be difficult harmonising work across two legislative jurisdictions as policy can vary on the issues that were discussed in the conference.
“On the ground, the pragmatism of seeing tangible mutual benefit from working together, from fostering friendships to taking advantage of economies of scale often trumps wider political considerations.
“It is a new future that’s taking shape. It remains vital to continue to build relationships and connections to address today’s circumstances.”
You can view the full list of organisations supported by the All-Island Fund here.
Watch below to see what some of the partner organisations have to say.
Children’s Law Centre, Belfast, and Children’s Rights Alliance have been working together to support the voice of young people in decisions made affecting their future.
The Rainbow Project, Belfast and LQBT Ireland are working together to ban conversion therapy across the island.