Interested in getting some best practice tips and tricks to incorporate into your community and voluntary sector work? We’ve got some events for you.

The community development and voluntary sectors are known for their on-the-ground work, with the vast majority of practitioners rolling up their sleeves and getting stuck in to change how things are done and to support those living in disadvantage.

A big part of that is a constant focus on learning; on always trying to find the most successful and most impactful approach.

Often, that means learning from others. One place to do that? National conferences and events.

If you’re interested in hearing the latest thinking – and in shaping it – a couple of events coming up on the next few months may be of interest.

Social Inclusion Forum 2019

On Wednesday 22 May, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will play host to this year’s Social Inclusion Forum (SIF). The theme of the event is ‘Collaborative Working at Local and National Level’.

The SIF was put in place by the Irish government to monitor and support the development and implementation of its plans to address poverty and social inclusion. SIF’s annual conference is intended as a forum for engagement between government officials, community and voluntary organisations, and people experiencing poverty.

This year, participants will discuss: social inclusion at community level, getting more from data, social inclusion and people with disabilities, housing and social inclusion, the role of employers in social inclusion, and social inclusion in Traveller health and wellbeing. They will also look at the new social inclusion strategy for 2019-2025.

The event is free, but attendees must register in advance.

For more information, visit the websites of event partners Community Work Ireland and the European Anti-Poverty Network.

Elements of Change

If it’s change you’re looking for – as well as fun and a family-friendly atmosphere – head to Tipp!

On Saturday 29 June, Cultivate is holding Elements of Change in Cloughjordan. The organisation is billing the one-day event as “a festival to reimagine our future to sustain happier, healthier communities”, and will look at how people can support sustainable change in this time of climate crisis.

Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network pioneer Rob Hopkins will be one of the lead voices. He has said, “If we wait for the governments, it’ll be too little, too late; if we act as individuals, it’ll be too little; but if we act as communities, it might just be enough, just in time.”

Not one for the shy or retiring, attendees are encouraged to “be part of the discussions, offer a workshop, let your children inspire you with their own programme, bring an instrument or talent, get involved in a meitheal, host your own conversation cafe, mingle … and share your insights”.

Encouraging people to come by train, the organisers have scheduled their programme to match Iarnród Éireann’s timetable.

You can still drive of course – just leave the Hummer at home.

Tickets are free for kids under 16, and range from €12 for an adult to €35 to be in the audience for Rob Hopkins. They are available from

Interested in reading more about the state of Ireland’s community development sector? Check out our latest issue.

Main photoPeter Mooney/ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Updated at 7.35am on Wednesday 22 May 2019: Article was updated to reflect changes in ticket prices for Elements of Change.