British Irish Council Symposium - Dublin - 20 May 2022

19 May 2022

The British-Irish Council (BIC) will hold a symposium entitled “Working together to meet the healthcare needs of people experiencing homelessness and substance use issues” in Dublin on 20 May 2022

The symposium will bring together policy makers, service providers, voluntary and community organisations and people with lived experience from across the eight Member Administrations of the British-Irish Council. The representatives will share expertise on how to better develop a joined up approach between housing and health services, so as to ensure improved outcomes for people who are homeless and use drugs and alcohol.

The event will include a panel discussion addressing the links between homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction, the experience of those using homelessness and drug and alcohol services, and models of service delivery. This will be followed by a series of thematic workshops led by experienced practitioners from the BIC administrations focusing on topics such as Housing First, Inclusion Health, delivering patient-focused addiction services, learning from COVID-19, and reducing stigma.

The symposium forms part of the British-Irish Council’s ongoing engagement with experts in fields related to the Council’s work programme, with the purpose of addressing issues of common interest to citizens across these islands.


Notes for editors:

  • The British-Irish Council comprises representatives of the Irish and UK governments, Northern Ireland Executive, and Scotland, Wales, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and Jersey.
  • It was formally established when the British-Irish Agreement signed by the UK and Irish governments came into force on 2 December 1999, following the Multi-Party Agreement reached between the UK and Irish governments and the political parties in Northern Ireland in April 1998, also known as the Belfast or Good Friday Agreement.
  • The purpose of the British-Irish Council as set out in Strand 3 of the Multi-Party Agreement is "to promote the harmonious and mutually beneficial development of the totality of relationships among the peoples of these islands... the BIC will exchange information, discuss, consult and use best endeavours to reach agreement on co-operation on matters of mutual interest within the competence of the relevant administrations”
  • The current work programme of the Council prioritises eleven specific work sectors: Collaborative Spatial Planning; Creative Industries; Digital Inclusion; Drugs and Alcohol; Early Years; Energy; Environment; Housing; Indigenous, Minority and Lesser-Used Languages; Social Inclusion; and Transport. Each of these is chaired (or co-chaired) by one of the BIC Member Administrations. The Housing work sector is chaired by the Northern Ireland Executive, and the Drugs and Alcohol work sector by the Irish Government.


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