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The storm is officially upon us, with the current loss of ESF Funding.  The Women’s sector has experienced a horrendous blow and its loss is being felt across all communities.  Our duty is to serve, we want to provide childcare, engagement, support, education and employment to those women who have been overlooked for so long.

We also have the added pressure of not having a Stormont Government therefore there is no budget for N.I.  This is also adding massive pressure to the already fragile Community & Voluntary Sector and their workers, people are working under the constant duress of 3-month funding notices which is completely unacceptable.

We value the women of our communities, they manage homes & families, and provide support to everyone around them, they are the problem solvers and the shock absorbers.  Women and community groups build communities, we work together to create change and engage with services that help improve their lives.

This can only be done with financial backing, projects cannot run themselves, and they shouldn’t be expected to.  You need project workers, Employment Support Officers, Finance, Administration, Childcare workers, I.T Technicians etc.  All of these posts are essential, they allow these projects to function and generate change.

We need to recognise the value of these services for women and children especially during this current Cost of Living Crisis, these community groups are supporting extremely complex needs.  We need funding in place and our elected officials have to change the narrative now, and put a focus on Gender based funding.