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Emergencies Leadership Group reconvened as cost of living Crisis deepens in NI

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has reconvened the Emergencies Leadership Group as part of a strategic response to the cost of living crisis.

The group brings together leaders from the community and voluntary sector who are on the frontline, assisting workers, families and communities who are enduring real hardship as the crisis deepens.

Speaking after the first meeting of the group, Minister Hargey said:

“We are seeing a deepening of the cost of living crisis for people right across our community.

“I am hearing every day from people who are struggling and suffering from the impact of rising costs of food, energy and fuel.

“I am committed to doing all within my power to put money into people’s pockets and to provide all possible support.

“We know the absence of a functioning Executive and no budget in place for this year, makes the challenge all the greater.

“My top priority is to support people and an active partnership with the voluntary and community sector is key to delivery. Today, I have re-established the Emergencies Leadership Group to advise, inform and shape the emerging policy and operational response. I am determined to target our responses to get the right support to those in our communities.”

The Emergencies Leadership Group is based on the successful model established by the Department for Communities (DfC) during the Covid 19 public health emergency, when regional and grass roots leaders within the community sector helped shape and support the delivery of the Department’s VCS Emergency Response programme of initiatives.

The Minister continued:

“This group has a strong track record of working with my Department to maximise delivery of services. It is made up of leaders across our society who bring unique insights into, and knowledge of, the lived experience for people today.

“The ELG previously assisted us in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic helping us to target our responses effectively and to deliver meaningful support where it was needed most.”

The Cost of Living Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Leadership Group comprising of representatives from the following organisations:

  • Advice NI

  • Community Development and Health Network

  • Community Foundation NI

  • Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland (COPNI)

  • East Belfast Community Development Agency

  • Falls Community Council

  • Inspire Wellbeing

  • Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children & Young People (NICCY)

  • Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action

  • Public Health Agency

  • Red Cross

  • Rural Community Network


  • Triax

  • Trussell Trust

  • Upper Andersonstown Community Forum

  • Volunteer Now


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