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Path to Impact Final Conference

Thursday, November 22, 2018 - 09:30 to 14:00
Skainos Centre, Skainos Square, 239 Newtownards Road Belfast BT4 1AF

In January 2016, we launched our “Path to Impact” project to assess and strengthen the capacity of third sector organisations in Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

50 third sector organisations were selected in Scotland and 50 in Northern Ireland to participate in a unique programme that involved the completion of an online diagnostic tool called Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT).  The 100 participants completed the CCAT assessment twice, with a 18 month gap in-between which was ultiised to highlight the areas of focus that the individual organisations wanted to build in order to strengthen the overall capacity of their organisations before retaking CCAT.

As part of the programme, all of the participants were offered a one-to-one which analsyed their individual findings. One of the unique parts of this programme is that the CCAT assessment was completed by both Board and staff therefore providing an opportunity to highlight any differences in scores.  The community of learning that developed through 50 organisations completing the assessment in parallel also offered unique opportunities to learn and share their experiences and good practice with one another.

We have now reached the point whereby all of the organisations have completed their second assessment. Alongside the organisational assessment we will produce a final report to document the experiences and the capacity needs of the sector.  The substantive conclusions that will reach in the report will be both interesting and challenging.  However, most importantly, the report  will build a better understanding on the causes and areas that need to be focused on both now and in the future in order to build the sustainability of the wider Third Sector.

At this conference we will launch the report, and share insights both from funders and from Third Sector leaders on their experiences of being part of the programme. 

Speakers confirmed to date are: 

Joanne McDowell, NI Director, Big Lottery Fund

Anne Marie McClure, Chief Executive, Start 360

Bob Stronge, Chief Executive, Advice NI

Date: Thursday 22 November

Time: 09:30am - 4pm

Venue: Skainos Centre. 239 Newtownards Road, Belfast BT4 1AF

To book: Please contact rachel@co3.bz

Joanne McDowell, NI Director, Big Lottery Fund

Joanne was appointed as Big Lottery Fund's director for Northern Ireland in September 2010.

As Northern Ireland (NI) director, Joanne spends most of her time meeting and listening to stakeholders, beneficiaries, VCSE representatives, government officials and elected representatives who want to know about the Big Lottery Fund’s programmes and investments. She also works with the NI chair and NI committee to deliver on programmes and strategic direction.

Before joining the Fund, Joanne lectured in European Studies and Rural Development and she worked as a consultant for a major private sector body in Northern Ireland. Joanne has a Doctorate from the University of Ulster in planning policy and legislative change in Spain.


Anne Marie McClure, Chief Executive, Start 360

Anne-Marie is the Chief Executive Officer at Start360 – she is celebrating the organisation’s silver anniversary this year and her own 25 years at the helm. Anne-Marie was CO3’s Inspiring Leader of the Year in 2015 and is now their Vice-Chair. She is a Health Visitor by profession, was the recipient of the Northern Ireland Adult Nurse of the Year Award in 2000 and was awarded the MBE in 2009.

Start360 is a cutting-edge provider of support services to young people, adult offenders and families in the community - delivering 27 different services, across health, justice and employability, to people who need additional support, so they can make change in their lives and meet their potential.

Anne-Marie has shown decades of dedication and commitment – not just to Start360 but to the whole voluntary sector and to the people who use our services. Through her work on a range of boards, forums and networks, she has been involved for many years in shaping and informing the policy context at the highest levels.

Anne-Marie is married to Sam and together they have one son, Ben.  She puts a lot of passion, energy and enthusiasm into everything she does...  from walking her step-dog, Max, to enjoying live music. 

Bob Stronge, Chief Executive, Advice NI

Bob Stronge is CEO of Advice NI, an organisation that provides support and development services to around 70 independent advice agencies in Northern Ireland.  He has been actively involved in the voluntary and community sector for most of his working life and has an active interest in social security and welfare policy issues. Bob is a former Chair of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action a position he held for six years until 2013. He has also served on the government’s Economic Development Forum and Advisory Council on Infrastructure Investment. Previously Bob worked as a Community Worker for Castlereagh Council and was Treasurer of both Ballynafeigh Community Development Association and Community Places for a number of years.