Community forum launches handbook
The Donegal County Community Forum is determined to keep community work on the political agenda, despite a 50 percent cut in funding for next year.
The forum, which represents communities on such policy-making bodies as the County Development Board and strategic policy committees, was to launch its new handbook yesterday at County House in Lifford.
"We have worked far too hard over the past year to lie down at the first challenge," said Paula Leonard, forum chairperson. "We recognise that for many the cutbacks in our sector will mean that vital supports and services will be withdrawn. We all need to work in solidarity at this time.
"This is a terrible time for groups, families and communities throughout Donegal," Ms. Leonard said. "We are determined to keep the issues of community, poverty and social inclusion on the agenda."
Ms. Leonard said that while every crisis presents its own challenges, she added, "It is impossible to imagine that plausible strategies to address the challenges ahead can be found without a meaningful role for community and voluntary sector organisations."
The new handbook and constitution reflect the forum's restructuring of this past year. Ms. Leonard said that the group is "at the heart of participative democracy at the local level."