Present:John Cousins (Chair), John Clarke, Sheena Funston, Sean Coll, Chris O’Halloran, Maureen Hetherington
Staff:Paul Jordan, Brian Mullan, Carol Taylor, Joan Clements, Jacqueline Irwin, Kimberley MacDonald (Minute Taker)
1. Apologies: Jim Campbell, Caroline Wilson, Sheila-Jayne Malley, Nigel McKinney
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting (27th June 2006)
3. Matters Arising
It was agreed that a letter would not be sent to the Victims Commissioner in response to the release of her report.
Committee members were informed that the Victims Commissioner would be taking ownership of the second morning of the Victims & Survivors Conference to present her findings on the consultations for the victims’ forum. The second morning of the conference will be opened up to individuals who are not affiliated with groups. The Victims Commissioner will be picking up the costs of the daily delegates she has invited.
Paul stated that he has met with the Commissioner’s staff regarding the per capita report looking at future strategy/recommendations.
V & S Conference
Committee members emphasized the importance of keeping the focus of the conference on the groups which we support/develop. Therefore, it was decided that academics/outside individuals should not be allowed to attend as it would change the dynamic of the conference.
Paul has upcoming meetings with the solicitor Jenny Ebidge who’s expertise is in charity law next week.
4. Officer’s Reports
The core funding programme is halfway through the year with a 1.1 million spend. The next quarter payments are due at the start of October. There have been over 40 support visits with different groups during the summer. Groups are currently sending in applications for training needs which often have to do with capacity building (this was highlighted during support visits). We will be getting letters out to groups over the next week or so to allow them to apply to reallocate their underspends from last year.
Joan & Sean Coll have been working in Fermanagh with a consortium of groups. The consortium have nominated up to four people to go forward for co-ordinator volunteer training. The consortium supports injured ex-service members, widows etc. provides hospital visits and has applied for mileage costs. There was a launch on the 30th of August 2006 which for people who would benefit from befriending which was held on a boat. The Victims Commissioner attended the launch. Similar programmes are to be rolled out in Armagh and Omagh.
Sean Coll added that this is a loose consortium of groups which still maintain their original group identity. This is an accredited training programme through the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM).
Joan also stated that FAIR and other groups have applied for home visits and therapies under the befriending scheme.
Carol informed the committee members that we are now six months into the development grant scheme with 223 applications having been submitted to date. Groups have applied for long-standing programmes. This has made it easier for groups to apply for programmes for 6 months or the whole year and allows the project officer to better monitor a group’s developmental needs. In the future Carol will look at helping groups to close programmes.
Thus far the IT feedback has been excellent particularly amongst voluntary groups. This scheme allows groups to share the workload among their membership. It also provides recognition that groups exist and that the CRC recognizes them strategically.
John Cousins asked if there were any groups who had significant underspends.
Brian stated that Shankill Stress & Trauma Group had a significant underspend but that they were owed money from another funder and that they were cautious about moving forward. They are doing very important work and a letter regarding underspend will be sent to them in the next couple of days.
We have secured Dr. Yael Danieli as our keynote speaker for the conference. She is a clinical psychologist, victimologist, and traumatologist as well as a spokesperson for the UN. She will speak on the first morning on transgenerational trauma. We will provide her with a full brief over the next week of what we would like out of the conference. She will do a small workshop at the conference as well.
This Thursday we are holding a meeting for groups running workshops on the first day. People are continuing to sign up for the conference and a mail out will occur over the next fortnight which will include a programme, workshop blurbs etc. to enable groups to make choices about which workshop they will attend.
5. Core Funding- Specific Requests
The committee had approved FACT’s request to allow a worker to act up while they looked for a new employee. The group has since requested assistance with closing proceedings. Since yesterday, every committee member bar one has resigned their position. The core funding officer’s recommendation is to cease funding and carry out a final verification.
John Clarke requested a full report from Brian Mullan.
FACT is currently the only victims group in the Lisburn area.
Maureen Hetherington expressed concern that people will be reluctant to engage in committees in the future due to financial risk/liability.
Carol informed the committee members that the CRC have given groups information on prevention training so that the people within the groups are not financially liable. This is happening on a consistent basis now and is highlighted through support visits.
John Cousins requested that CRC find out more information for both organizational and individual cases.
The CRC currently does not advise groups on these matters however, CRC staff do tell groups that they need to seek advice.
Committee members requested copies of NICVA’s advice on the subject.
Decision: Core funding officer will request that the group puts in writing that they would like to close. Information should be given to Caroline Wilson to pass onto members of FACT.
John Cousins thanked the staff officers for their management of the case and their group visits over the summer.
6. Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is the 14th of November 2006 at 10:30am. The meeting will be held in Belfast.