Hugh Farrell from Athlone has recently been elected to the position of secretary of the Irish National Community and Voluntary Forum (INCVF ), the representative body for 24,000 community and voluntary organisations throughout Ireland.
According to Hugh Farrell, although honoured by the election, he is cognisant of the tough challenges that lie ahead. “I am hugely honoured to have been elected to this position. I have worked both in a voluntary capacity and professionally in the community/voluntary sector for over seven years, and I know only too well the unique challenges we face,” he said.
Hugh Farrell is the regional - Midlands manager of the Irish Wheelchair Association. He has worked for many years in the statutory and non-statutory health and community services area, and he has a particular interest in matters relating to disability and older persons. Hugh Farrell has been a member of Westmeath Community and Voluntary Forum for the past seven years, firstly as a countywide representative, and since 2009, as an Athlone area representative. He has been a member of the INCVF national executive since 2010.
Ann Brophy, the new chairperson of the INCVF welcomed Hugh Farrell and said that she was looking forward to working with him during the coming year.
According to the new chair of the INCVF: “Community and voluntary organisations have faced huge threats in the past few years. It began with the McCarthy report, which threatened the very existence of Ireland’s community and voluntary life. Organisations up and down the county provide hugely valuable services to the State by their work in schools, parish halls, and community centres. They empower people with disabilities, our older citizens, youth groups, the homeless, and other marginalised groups.”