Message from the Patron
As Northern Ireland continues on its process of peace building and post conflict recovery, the Community Foundation continues to be at the forefront of community development and social change.
Wider society at present is still gripped in the flux of the most destabilising financial crisis in memory and uncertainty reigns as to how the public and private sectors will cope.
With a new government in place at Downing Street, an era of untold austerity has been predicted and as the figures for the jobless rise, greater pressure will be exerted on our social services, also feeling the pinch from government cuts.
At Stormont, an uneasy stability has ensured that while harder economic times may be coming, at least the key decision makers continue to sit around the same Executive table, putting Northern Ireland in a strong position to cope with difficult decisions that will follow.
In a situation like this, the role of philanthropy and the good work of those with wealth to share become even more important in helping secure sustainability and micro finance in the community and voluntary sector, making organisations more resilient and helping fasten local services for those that need them most.
The significant investment injected by the Foundation each year is proof that we continue to rise to the challenge of supporting voluntary action and social change in Northern Ireland.
We see this role continuing indefinitely, as we give voice to the voiceless and make government in Northern Ireland aware of what the needs, hopes, fears and stresses of the communuity and voluntary sectors are.
This report gives a firm idea of how the Foundation is impacting across local society and those philanthropists and intelligent givers whose good actions have built the successes of the past year can be rightly proud.
Baroness Mary Goudie
Patron of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland