The PEACE PLUS discussion document highlights the twin challenges that both Brexit and COVID-19, have had, and are likely to continue to have in relation to the disproportionate impacts on communities already marginalised by poverty, inequality and social exclusion. COVID-19 highlighted many weaknesses in social and economic infrastructure and exacerbated a range of social issues that existed prior to the onset of the pandemic. However, the pandemic also revealed the possibility of interventions that had previously not been thought possible to protect marginalised individuals, families and communities made even more vulnerable by COVID. Cross-sectoral relationships with the community sector and the voluntary sector were built and were critical to the response to the pandemic in both the north and the south.
Building on the potential to further develop innovative and new ways of working, PEACE PLUS should not be about returning to ‘normal’. Rather it should facilitate an opportunity to be transformative, imagining a more equal and sustainable society where rights and diversity are respected. In order to do this, PEACE PLUS must prioritise support for grass-roots community development that, our members point out has been significantly diminished during the last two programmes.
Read the CWI Submission here