I’m sure like me you watched with great interest at the weekend as the end of the political stalemate in NI was coming to an end, enabling the MLAs to return to Stormont and occupy their offices, beginning to face the many issues which have amassed on their desks over the past 2 years.
Which political party will occupy which Department? Who will the next Ministers be? I even stayed at home to watch it unfolding rather than heading out to watch a local football match! I couldn’t take myself away from watching history being made.
So now we are up and running. The Executive will be sitting, Committee Chairs and members will be announced, and the hard work begins. There are so many priorities; public sector pay, affordable Childcare, how we can improve waiting lists amongst other issues within the health sector, just to name a few.
At Social Enterprise NI (SENI) we welcome the return of a functioning Assembly and Executive. Through the recent political hiatus, we maintained an operational All Party Group and we thank MLAs for their support and commitment to attending meetings and to support our work. We look forward to your continuing support.
But now as the pressure is coming from all directions, we stand firm and represent the social enterprise sector, a sector whose activity touches all government departments through its work to help those in most need in our society. That need is getting greater by the day. We will work for the sector to promote innovation in how we ensure that we better spend the limited resources that exist in NI. We don’t need to spend more; we look for further acknowledgement of the benefits of social value to not spend more just spend better!
SENI will encourage partnerships between public and private sector and our members. We will ensure that the social economy is not overlooked in the rush for funds and will press for additional resource to ensure a more sustainable sector going forward through the development of a Regional Strategy for the sector in NI, one which acknowledges and aligns to 10x.
The social economy is ready to help the new Assembly in delivering for everyone. Let’s support social businesses who not only trade to generate profit but create real “profit with purpose.”
We send our best wishes to all Ministers, MLAs and officials and look forward to engaging with you over the coming weeks and months.
To our members, we will be in touch about some engagement events in the coming weeks with details of how you can get involved.