Latest Updates

Teach your children well: the science of lasting peace

11 Jan 2019 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Education, Health

Experts from Northern Ireland have helped write a landmark paper which could help to build a more peaceful world.

Helping young people in difficult circumstances is challenging – but organisations are well placed to assist each other

11 Jan 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Justice, Mental Health, Social Policy, Sector Issues, Young People

Partnership doesn’t have to mean joint projects – it can just be about regularly sharing ideas. The response of several youth groups brought together by the Urban Villages Initiative shows the value of strategic co-operation.

Plastic: Turning the tide

4 Jan 2019 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

Last year was a terrible one for those of us who care about the environment. There were apocalyptic reports about climate change, extreme weather conditions and species extermination.

Happy New Year – we can make a better world, but it won’t make itself

4 Jan 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Economy, Social Policy

If we continue to chase some short-term economic growth at the expense of inclusive growth we not only make things harder for the majority of people, we are creating growth that will not be sustained.

Can ancestral trauma haunt the living?

20 Dec 2018 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health

Pic: Monica Silva, Unsplash

Northern Ireland has high levels of mental ill health, self-harm and suicide. Attributing this to “inter-generational trauma” has become a mantra amongst commentators.

More Traveller voices should be heard in education

20 Dec 2018 Ryan MillerEquality, Education, Social Policy

Annie Doherty helping out with Toybox while studying for her GCSEs

Traveller examination results are not where they should be. This is not an insoluble problem, good work is being done, but we would do well to listen more to the views of the Traveller community.

Human Rights in NI – sleepwalking towards disaster

14 Dec 2018 Ryan MillerEquality, Justice, Health, Education, Social Policy, Human Rights

Lord Duncan of Springbank, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and Commissioner Les Allamby at the launch of the statement this week

The Human Rights Commission published its Annual Statement this week. We have plenty of problems, too few solutions, and the problems stemming from our lack of a government only ever grow in number.

Charities and gagging clauses

13 Dec 2018 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Government

Beleaguered Prime Minister Theresa has taken time off from her Brexit travails to intervene in the growing controversy over charities being forced to sign gagging clauses in public contracts.

Report released into alleged housing charity impropriety

7 Dec 2018 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Housing, Justice

The Charity Commission says Victoria Housing Estates Ltd, under the stewardship of Co Down solicitor Derek Tughan, lost £12m in questionable loans and suffered a £21m underspend on its properties.

Climate Change: Northern Ireland and the rising sea

7 Dec 2018 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

This week saw the start of a series of meetings which will have even more profound consequences for all of us than Brexit.

Time to celebrate bad behaviour

30 Nov 2018 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

What if we stopped rewarding people in civil society for following the rules and celebrated those who break them instead?

Christmas is the busiest time of year for foodbanks

30 Nov 2018 Ryan MillerEquality, Social Policy, Health, Welfare Reform

Manna in Dundonald

Another Christmas, another busy month for foodbanks. For most people, they are an abstract concept – that’s because most people never have to use them.

The future face of democracy? NI's Citizen's Assembly

23 Nov 2018 Nick GarbuttPolitics, Policy, Health

Earlier this week an important experiment in the exercise of democracy took place in Northern Ireland.

The justice system needs to change – like it has many times before

23 Nov 2018 Ryan MillerJustice, Equality, Health, Mental Health, Social Policy

The Magna Carta

Key principles of our justice system could be bent or broken in cases of sexual violence. Perhaps they need to be – and, really, that’s nothing new.

Charities: running out of cash

16 Nov 2018 Nick GarbuttFundraising

Loose change is the lifeblood of charitable giving. So how will charities adapt to a cashless society?

Justice is rare for victims of rape

15 Nov 2018 Ryan MillerJustice, Health, Social Policy, Mental Health

The criminal justice system is failing rape victims in Northern Ireland. The third sector provides good support for anyone affected – but structural reform is necessary. Scope speaks with Victim Support NI.

Northern Ireland government: time to fix the system

9 Nov 2018 Nick GarbuttPolicy, Politics

The crisis in Northern Ireland has spread from frustration at the political impasse to disillusionment and anger at the entire system of government.

Public transport is about access – we need to measure it that way

9 Nov 2018 Ryan MillerEquality, Health, Education, Social Policy, Transport

NI’s official annual transport statistics were refined earlier this year. However, from the public perspective, they do not tell us enough.

How bringing back the wilderness can save the planet

2 Nov 2018 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

There was widespread shock at a World Wildlife Fund report published this week that revealed that mankind had wiped out 60% of all the animals on the planet since 1970.

Improving mental health outcomes will tell us a lot about society

31 Oct 2018 Ryan MillerMental Health, Health, Education, Economy, Social Policy

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

This could prove to be a good week for mental health provision in Northern Ireland. Maybe. Not just because of more money for services - the City Deal could help, too. And it might have to.

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