Attendees: John Cousins (CHAIR), Jim Campbell, Sheena Funston
Apologies: Chris O’Halloran, John Clarke, Sheila Jane Malley
1. Minutes of last meeting
The minutes from the previous meeting (22 September 2005) were agreed with no amendments or additions.
2. Matters Arising
A discussion around the status of the current victims strategy took place. It was agreed that the Chair would seek a meeting with Duncan Morrow to discuss this further.
The issue of lobbying and campaigning carried out by funded groups has been raised with the Councils’ management team. Ms Mackin is currently seeking legal advice and will update committee of developments on this matter.
3. Officers Reports
Ms Clements informed committee of some of the good practice carried out by funded groups to date and highlighted the development of FODDD who have made good progress over the last three years.
Mr Mullan advised in the last quarter he has carried out over 40 visits with funded groups for purposes of verification and support. Mr Mullan also advised he has also been overseeing the re-allocation of in contract savings.
Ms Taylor advised the committee that a decision was taken to formally notify groups that the closing date for the Development Grant Scheme was brought forward to 15 November 2005. By the closing date there was 150+ applications. She reported that the Victims Unit has provided additional funding to meet the extra demand presented. Groups have been informed that all projects must be completed with evaluations carried out by 31 March 2006. Ms Taylor also reported that verification of completed small grant applications are ongoing.
Ms Mackin informed the committee that she was in attendance at the Cúnamh research project. Ms Mackin and Mr Mullan also attended the Healing & Remembering conference and gave an outline of the Programme from the day.
4. Seminar Event – 6 December 2005
The committee were updated on the information seminar held on the 6 December 2005. The event was jointly organised with the Trauma Recovery Network. The seminar took place in NICVA and Helen Bamber OBE founder of the Medical foundation for the care of victims of torture presented the key note address. A round table discussion was held on Trauma Recovery with representatives from political parties chaired by Martina Purdy from the BBC. This was then followed with a question/answer session with Monica McWilliams from the Human Rights Commission. The seminar closed with workshops on A Shared Future.
5. Victims work in the context of A Shared Future
Ms Mackin advised committee that the workshops at the seminar on 6 December focused on victims and A Shared Future. Participants had the opportunity to examine five questions in respect of victims and their role within a shared future. This included an opportunity to discuss hopes/fears and expectations.
Ms Mackin provided a table to the committee in respect of how the Council views its work with victims and survivors in the context of ASF. The table includes – description of work and types of activities/ work programmes. Ms Mackin informed members that core funding and development staff would be ascertaining a baseline of current activity programmes carried out by groups and how this work fits within CRC’s aims/objectives for ASF. A development index for measuring progress for the sector was underway. Mr Mullan outlined how the development Index works in practice.
A discussion followed with much interest from members. Mr Campbell noted some suggestions to staff for building upon the foundations of this work re: coding of group names etc. Mr Cousins congratulated the staff on their efforts in this work.
6. Review of Group Activities
Mr Mullan and Ms Clements advised the committee in respect of development meetings and the direction of work with victims groups to date. John Cousins recommended that when presenting reports the date and authors should be added. Staff agreed to provide this detail in the future.
Mr Mullan also provided an update with regard to the Core Funding Budget.