NICVA has launched an online recession toolkit to help voluntary and community organisations prepare for the economic downturn. This toolkit comes on the back of a successful ‘Coping with the Recession’ conference, which was attended by over 100 different organisations from the sector.

The conference set out how the recession was likely to impact on the sector in Northern Ireland and outlined some of the key issues we all need to be thinking about.

Philip McDonagh, chief economist at PWC, described the recession as “a kind of paralysis of the economy, a freeze of activity”, creating a number of highly vulnerable areas including debt issues, joblessness, older people and finally social capital. Philip also noted that the economy will recover and afterwards the landscape will be different, so it is important to prepare for the future.

Bruce Robinson, Head of NICS, highlighted that the recession will challenge all of us to make difficult decisions, and this will call for strong leadership. He encouraged organis! ations to look at costs, systems, collaboration, strengths and weaknesses, finance and income generation.

Ian Oakley-Smith, PWC, discussed in more detail some of the key findings of the ‘Managing in a Downturn’ report, published in November 2008.

NICVA is hosting a further recession conference event in Derry, in partnership with North West Community Network, on Thursday 30 April 2009.

Conference presentations and booking information for the Derry event are available at

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