Together: Building a United Community Engagement Forum (T:BUC Engagement Forum)

The Executive’s good relations strategy Together Building a United Community (T:BUC) acknowledges the importance of the voluntary and community sector in contributing to the delivery of its objectives. Community involvement and the wider benefit that flows from working collectively and in partnership with government is crucial to building a united community. It is also essential to effective delivery of positive change at the local level.

In order to facilitate a structured and co-ordinated engagement process the Together: Building a United Community Engagement Forum was established to support wide stakeholder engagement to influence the effective implementation of the T:BUC strategy which focuses on four priority areas: Our Cultural Expression, Our Children & Young People, Our Shared Community or Our Safe Community.

The Forum aims to provide an opportunity for local knowledge, experience and expertise to influence the implementation of the TBUC Strategy. Through engagement the Forum promotes a more joined up outcome focused response to implementation issues.

The T:BUC Engagement Forum held its inaugural meeting on 10 March 2016 with over 120 community practitioners, policymakers and academics in attendance. Since then the Forum has met 3-4 times a year focusing at each meeting on a different priority area of T:BUC. The Forum enables government and its associated bodies to update the sector on progress in implementing T:BUC. It enables the community and voluntary sector to consider T:BUC implementation issues, to identify good practice and to make practical and innovative recommendations to improved delivery.

Membership includes community practitioners and representatives from faith groups, and business, voluntary and community sector organisations working to improve community relations. It also includes central and local government officials involved in the delivery of T:BUC headlines actions and associated programmes, representatives from T:BUC advisory groups and other key good relations funders. Formal contributions from academics, government, statutory agencies, community and voluntary organisations provide the backdrop for workshops and wider discussions.

The Director of Strategic Policy, Equality and Good Relations at The Executive Office (TEO) is Chair of the Forum. The NI Community Relations Council (CRC) co-ordinates the delivery of the meetings of the Forum on behalf of TEO. CRC issues invitations to the Forum to a wide audience of stakeholders; it co-ordinates the agenda, speakers and papers for the Forum meetings; and it formally reports the ideas and feedback expressed at the Forum meetings back to government.

The Terms of Reference of the T:BUC Engagement Forum are available here

If you would like to attend future Forum events please email info@nicrc.org.uk and your details will be added to the mailing list.