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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 12/08/2020 - 11:52

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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation


The Department for Communities holds all-age responsibility for policy and strategy in the voluntary and community sector, volunteering and community development advice and guidance. It is also responsible for the relationship between government and the voluntary and community sector. It aims to create a partnership environment in which the sectors can work closely to design policies and services that meet the needs of the people of Northern Ireland. 

The department funds the Northern Ireland National Citizen Service (see National programme for youth volunteering). The all-Ireland peace building charity, Co-operation Ireland leads the consortium which runs the programme.

Volunteer Now, the lead organisation for all-age volunteering in Northern Ireland, promotes, develops and supports volunteering across Northern Ireland.  It promotes volunteering opportunities for youth and the under-30s.

Cross-sectoral cooperation

The Department for Communities has policy responsibility for the management of relationships between government and the voluntary and community sector. The main relationship between the sector and central government has been developed to include councils, health and education sectors.

The Joint Forum is made up of representatives from central and local Government (Public Sector Group) and the voluntary and community sector (Voluntary and Community Group), and provides a mechanism to facilitate discussion of key issues regarding the relationship between the voluntary and community and the public sectors.

The Concordat is a framework document which sets out the shared values and principles of the Government and the voluntary and community sector. The aim is for them to work together as social partners to build a participative, peaceful, equitable and inclusive community.