This programme has five strands and supports core costs of regional infrastructure organisations involved in playing a supporting, co-ordinating or development role in relation to voluntary and community sector organisations, particularly in those policy areas which are the responsibility of the Department.

Generic Strand

The generic strand is a joint arrangement between the Department and the Department for Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), geared to support the voluntary and community sector in respect of representation, training board members, capacity building, handling governance issues and income generation.

The Consortium that delivers this part of RISP are:

  • Community Evaluation Northern Ireland (CENI)
  • Chief Officers 3rd Sector (CO3)
  • Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) 
  • Rural Community Network

Volunteering Support Strand

The Volunteering support strand is geared to support, promote and maximise volunteering across NI. The volunteering strategy aim is to create the conditions under which volunteering activity within Northern Ireland can develop and flourish.

This strand is delivered though funding a number of volunteering support organisations across Northern Ireland:

  • Causeway Volunteer Centre
  • Cookstown and Magherafelt Volunteer Centre
  • Craigavon and Banbridge Volunteer Bureau
  • Limavady Volunteer Bureau
  • Omagh Volunteer Centre
  • Volunteer Now

The volunteering support strand also supports and develops the volunteering infrastructure through a volunteering Small Grants Programme and the Volunteering Innovation Fund which supports volunteering in thematic areas such as faith and sport which traditionally have not been supported by government.

Women in disadvantaged/rural areas strand

The women in disadvantaged/rural areas strand a joint programme between DfC and DAERA, geared to maximise the ability of women living in disadvantaged/rural areas to contribute to their communities.

Faith based engagement strand

The faith based engagement strand supports NICVA and RCN in providing infrastructure support services to faith-based organisations in Northern Ireland to develop and grow, supports those Groups already there, and facilitates networking.

Generalist advice strand

The generalist advice strand provides support to the Northern Ireland Advice Services Consortium (NIASC). The NIASC comprises two generalist advice providers, Citizens Advice NI and Advice NI and a second tier advice provider Law Centre NI that picks up particularly difficult and complex casework that cannot be resolved locally.