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NEWS IN BRIEF

BUDGET 2011: COMMUNITY & VOLUNTARY PILLAR TO PUT FORWARD ALTERNATIVE PLAN

The Community and Voluntary Pillar (CV Pillar) of the social partnership process is currently refining the alternative economic recovery plan it submitted to Government late last year. The plan has now been scrutinised by UCD Economic Professor, Karl Whelan, and the CV Pillar will shortly engage in a programme of action to raise awareness of the plan before again submitting the revised plan prior to Budget 2011.

Ivan Cooper, The Wheel’s Director of Advocacy says the group is also developing a document that challenges common perceptions of what happened during the Celtic Tiger years, and the events that lead up to the economic collapse. “This narrative will be used to encourage wider debate in relation to how we got to where we are now, what really happened, how we need to move forward and what should be the resulting priorities for Budget 2011,” he said.

- For more information contact Ivan at ivan@wheel.ie.

NEW WEBSITE WILL BE

“INDISPENSABLE RESOURCE”

An innovative new online hub for community and voluntary organisations will be launched on Tuesday, 11 May. The new website will replace The Wheel's current website (www.wheel.ie) and integrate all its other online resources (Fundingpoint.ie, Learningpoint.ie and ICTpoint.ie).

The website will introduce number of innovative new features, including an interactive space where users can exchange information and advice; a new searchable database of training opportunities; a jobs and volunteering section; a new interface for Fundingpoint.ie; a fully searchable directory of community and voluntary organisations and a year planner function to help organisations plan their national fundraising days and other national events.

The Wheel's CEO, Deirdre Garvey, said that not only will the new website be the most comprehensive source of information and resources for the community and voluntary sector, it will also provide a unique forum to exchange information and ideas: "The Wheel has researched the information and support needs of community, voluntary and charitable organisations and we believe that this new service will be an indispensable resource for the sector", she said. The website will be launched at Filmbase in Temple Bar, on Tuesday, 11 May. See www.wheel.ie

for further information.

80 MILLION EUROPEANS

ARE AT RISK OF POVERTY

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, has warned that 80 million Europeans - or 17% of people across the EU - currently live below the poverty threshold.

Speaking at the launch of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion in Madrid, Mr Barroso said 2010 is a crucial moment for the EU. “Poverty is often associated with developing countries, where a lack of food and clean water can often be a daily challenge. Europe is also affected by poverty and social exclusion. It may not be as severe, but is nonetheless unacceptable. Poverty and exclusion of one individual amounts to the poverty of society as a whole. Europe can only be strong if each individual's potential is realised,” he said.

He added that the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion would create greater awareness of the causes and consequences of poverty in Europe, both among key players such as governments and social partners and among the public at large.

The Year's activities will be largely decentralised, with national programmes drawn up by each of the 29 countries taking part. In Ireland the programme will include a combination of regional seminars and National Conferences, with one International Conference, as well as “Social Inclusion Weeks” in May and

October. See www.eapn.ie for details.

the numbers

73%Percentage of Europeans who believe that poverty is major problem in their countries

(EU, Eurobarometer, Jan. 2010)

84% Percentage of organisations claiming

that fundraising is currently their top priority

(Grant Thornton, Pressing Issues Impacting on Ireland's Not for Profit Sector, 2010).

12.6%The standard-

ised unemployment rate

at the end of February

(Central Statistics Office, Live Register).

8%Fall in the

percentage of Irish people donating to charities between March 2008 and November 2009

(NFPSynergy, Charity Engagement Monitor, 2010).

24% Percentage

of charities that say they

won't comply with voluntary Governance

Codes (Grant Thornton, Pressing Issues Impacting on Ireland's Not for Profit Sector, 2010).

2 The number of charity shops Age Action Ireland

had to close due to falling revenues.

Le Chéile

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