The development of a National Volunteering Strategy and a National Social Enterprise Policy are key priorities for my Department this year.
In relation to the Volunteering Strategy, my Department has collated the information received from a Call for Input (CFI) exercise last December that was designed as a first step towards developing a draft National Volunteering Strategy. This material is being presented to a National Advisory Group on Volunteering at its inaugural meeting today, 29th May 2019. The group is made up of a range of stakeholders representing Government and the community and voluntary sector.
It is anticipated that the draft strategy will be completed later this year, following which there will be a further opportunity for the public to provide input before the strategy is presented to Government for approval.
My Department published a draft National Social Enterprise Policy for Ireland in April for public consultation. The consultation closed on 14th May and over 100 submissions were received. My officials are now reviewing these submissions which will help to inform the final draft of the policy. The policy will be brought to Government for approval in the near future, prior to its launch and publication.
The Social Enterprise Policy will complement the National Volunteering Strategy and a new 10-Year Strategy to Support the Community and Voluntary Sectors in Ireland, which is also being developed by my Department. Taken together, this suite of initiatives will support the full range of organisations that are providing services to communities or tackling social issues, whether through a social enterprise model or through more traditional community services delivery.