Latest Updates

Let's get serious about the peace walls

18 Dec 2015 Nick GarbuttCommunity Relations, Peace Process

Scope editor Nick Garbutt argues that it is time for investment in interface communities. 

Snow wants human rights for Christmas (and forever more)

16 Dec 2015 Ryan MillerPolitics, Social Policy, Equality

Jon Snow speaking this week at Stormont

Broadcaster Jon Snow came to Belfast this week for the launch of the NIHRC Annual Report - and took the opportunity to throw his full support behind human rights and their place at the centre of society.

Transforming legislation

11 Dec 2015 Ryan MillerHealth, Social Policy, Mental Health, Politics

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan at this week's event

Representative groups say Northern Ireland is not an impossible place for transgender people - but it is very difficult. Here are legislative requests from a leading support group, launched at Stormont this week.

Innovation or bust - Northern Ireland needs to move with the times

11 Dec 2015 Ryan MillerPolitics, Sector Issues, Social Policy

Funding is tight. Without innovation, services in Northern Ireland will stagnate - and if you are not improving you are declining. Scope looks at former Downing Street Policy Director Geoff Mulgan's address on innovation in Belfast this week.

Will the abortion ruling make any difference?

4 Dec 2015 Nick GarbuttHuman Rights, Equality

The High Court has ruled that Northern Ireland abortion law is in breach of Human Rights law. Scope asks if this will make any difference.  

Zero suicides is a realistic target

4 Dec 2015 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health

Fergus Cumiskey, MD of Contact NI, speaks to Scope about how a change in attitude could make huge improvements in Northern Ireland's high rate of those at risk of dying by suicide.

Commission publishes NI charities' annual accounts online

30 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

 The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has upgraded its online register so it can now display each charity’s annual accounts.

Social innovation in action Part Two: Fab Labs

27 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttFunding

Social innovation takes many forms. One of the most revolutionary is the Fab Lab movement which sets out to transform not just communities, but the entire manufacturing industry.

Care crash - change course or face disaster

27 Nov 2015 Ryan MillerHealth, Social Policy, Funding, Sector Issues

Care provision could soon collapse. Scope highlights some of the problems facing an independent sector that is facing rising demand and shrinking funds.

Social Innovation in action: The Clare Project

26 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttFunding

Social Innovation is the new big thing for the sector. But there’s a problem. Although it is a very simple concept its proponents are so fond of jargon that few understand what it is all about. 

Widening the gap: Education department policy discriminates against migrant children

26 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttEducation

Pamela Yeh has returned to Northern Ireland after eight years abroad to face the nightmare of the school transfer tests …

Why apathy remains an enemy: democracy still functions, if only just

20 Nov 2015 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Politics, Equality

June's marriage equality rally in Belfast made a difference to the Assembly vote

Northern Irish political progress has three gears - slow, stop and reverse - but even though it was killed by a Petition of Concern, the latest marriage equality vote in Stormont shows the public can still force change.

What each of the new government departments will do

18 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttPolitics

The Fresh Start agreement outlines how the new government departments will be structured in Northern Ireland. For the benefit of our readers here is that section in full …

The end for LGBT? Why trans issues should be separate

18 Nov 2015 Ryan MillerEquality, Social Policy

Transgender support and rights charity Focus, the Identity Trust, speaks with Scope about why treating the issues it deals with alongside lesbian, gay and bisexual matters is wrong.

Northern Ireland's mental health crisis: is the worst yet to come?

13 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttMental Health, Health

Northern Ireland has the highest incidence of mental ill health in the UK and yet spends less on its prevention and treatment than anywhere else. 

Hamilton's health reform: Mission Impossible?

13 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttHealth

Health Minister Simon Hamilton is throwing himself into reform of the health service: but is this mission impossible? 

Shameful, scandalous, time for an independent inquiry

6 Nov 2015 Nick GarbuttSocial Policy

Scope editor Nick Garbutt on Northern Ireland's "Dickensian" prison.

Frances Black: addiction is toxic, it wants to destroy everything it can

6 Nov 2015 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Mental Health, Health

Frances Black (centre) at Tuesday's conference

Scope speaks with Irish singer Frances Black about her work as an addiction counsellor and the founder of RISE, a support group for the loved ones of those with addiction, which follow on from her own battles with alcohol.

Equality, austerity and the threat of violence

29 Oct 2015 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Peace Process, Community Relations, Equality, Welfare Reform

Panel members from the recent Equality Coalition's austerity and inequality event

If people lose faith in what society offers then violence can rear its head. Scope looks at recent efforts from the Equality Coalition into whether there is a risk of a Troubles relapse as the public purse tightens and our economy splutters.

Should charities be forced to pay rates?

27 Oct 2015 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

Finance Minister Arlene Foster has just opened a consultation on the rating system that could have significant implications for charities here. 


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