The Annual General meeting of Donegal County Community Forum was recent held at An Grianan Hotel in Burt. One of the chief topics discussed was the representational and developmental role of the forum.
The key objective of Donegal County Community Forum is to provide a vehicle through which the community and voluntary sector’s voice is heard at decision making levels.
The acting chairperson of Donegal County Community Forum, Mary McGowan, outlined the range of activities that the forum has undertaken in the past 12 months to the county’s community and voluntary sector representatives. These included the provision of public information seminars on subjects of relevance to the community and voluntary sector, including active ageing, safety in the home and the heritage of local areas.
The community and voluntary sector in County Donegal have identified as a weakness in their structures their ability to communicate with the general public the important work being carried out in local communities on a voluntary basis. Donegal County Community Forum are helping to address this weakness by facilitating training in media skills, including print media, social media, public speaking and radio communications.
Addressing the Annual General Meeting, County Manager, Seamus Neely highlighted the important role carried out by County Forum members in representing the community and voluntary sector on Donegal County Development Board Sectoral Fora and Donegal County Council Strategic Policy Committees. Donegal County Community Forum currently provide active representation on up to 20 decision-making structures in the county, bringing a community and voluntary perspective to decision-making and funding allocating bodies, and also ensuring that the sector is informed of developments at county level.
Donegal County Community Forum has developed a website portal which has the objective of giving information about the activities of county and local fora and providing an information sharing platform on matters of common interest for the Community and Voluntary sector in various parts of the county. The website www.donegalcommunityforum.ie was launched by the Minister of State at the Department of Gaeltacht and Community Affairs, Dinny McGinley last May.
The funding for the running of the County Forum structure comes predominantly from the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government, with funding and developmental support from Donegal County Council.
Further information on the work of Donegal County Community Forum can be had from Mary McGowan, Acting Chairperson, on 087 263 9165.