The VOICES Programme
The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland launched the VOICES Programme in April 2010 with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies.
This programme was initiated in recognition of the need to examine voices and issues that have effectively been silenced through marginalisation, exclusion or prejudice and to reflect on the issues raised.
The programme adopted three strategic approaches to work on Individual, Identity and Community Voices: proactive research; support to groups and individuals to identify and articulate issues; and the promotion of advocacy strategies. The programme awarded small grants of up to £5,000 to 36 organisations that were working with excluded/vulnerable groups of people to empower their voices to be heard and enable groups to advocate for their own change.
It also provided support to 17 small research projects through the small grants research initiative and VOICES Scholarship Programme. Drawing on the learning from these projects, the issues emerging and the policy context within which they were operating, the VOICES Programme produced a number of policy briefs highlighting a range of issues.
The Programme also developed a volunteer research programme - BoldVoices – which supported the production of eleven films made by young people from marginalised or disadvantaged communities.
This programme is now closed, but for more information on the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland's wider Social Justice Approach to Community Development programme, please click here.