Latest Updates

Growing a good idea in the voluntary sector

1 Sep 2017 Ryan MillerHealth; Social Policy; Sector Issues

The Lord Mayor of Belfast visited CLARE last month

Community and voluntary work is done best at a local level. This makes scaling up a tricky prospect – but it is not impossible.

Floods: the real scandal we should all be talking about

25 Aug 2017 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

The reaction to the floods that devastated swathes of Northern Ireland this week failed to address a catastrophic failure of public policy. 

Entrusting health cuts to the public

24 Aug 2017 Ryan MillerHealth

The apparent need for £70m cuts in health is bad news - but finding extra cash won't fix the underlying problems, while our trusts have missed a chance to push for reform, and instead have washed their hands of the burden of leadership.

Ex offenders - an untapped resource?

18 Aug 2017 Nick GarbuttJustice; Social Policy; Sector Issues

There are proven ways to rehabilitate offenders. But is Northern Ireland up for it? 

Realistic expectations make Social Impact Bonds look worthwhile

17 Aug 2017 Ryan MillerSector Issues; Funding

Social Impact Bonds, from

Social Impact Bonds have yet to come to Northern Ireland. Scope looks at this new funding model and decides their use is probably narrow – but they still have a use.

The biggest missed opportunity for NI's 3rd Sector

11 Aug 2017 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Public Procurement

There has been much coverage of the impact of no government on the sector. To date it has not featured what is surely the biggest lost opportunity of all. 

Brexit means what we make of it

11 Aug 2017 Ryan MillerSector Issues; Social Policy; Health; Education; Equality; Economy

A lack of specifics on plans for Brexit negotiations, and what is planned for afterwards, is worrying - but it provides opportunities for shaping the future. NICVA recently published its position paper on Brexit. Scope takes a look.

The 'rape clause' - understandable opposition

4 Aug 2017 Ryan MillerSector Issues; Equality; Social Policy; Welfare Reform

Welfare Reform comes to NI next month. Opposition to the two-child limit on tax credits in general - and the 'rape clause' in particular - has grown more voluble. Scope looks at women's groups' objections.

Kids Company. It couldn't happen here. Could it?

4 Aug 2017 Nick GarbuttGovernance, Sector Issues

The Insolvency Service is seeking to ban the former trustees of Kids Company from holding directorships for up to six years. It couldn’t happen here. Could it? 

Volunteering information

28 Jul 2017 Ryan MillerSocial Policy; Sector Issues

Volunteering means a lot of different things. To get the best out of it, we need information that is clearer on the distinctions, on how different people donate their time in different ways – and on what they achieve.

Northern Ireland's ecological disaster: the untold story

26 Jul 2017 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

Campaigners are setting about tackling Northern Ireland’s least known and most devastating ecological disaster, Scope explores a forgotten tragedy. 

Saving lives: focus on the RNLI

21 Jul 2017 Ryan MillerHealth; Sector Issues

RNLI volunteers deal with difficult circumstances

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is a rarity – a first-response emergency service operating on a voluntary basis. Scope shines a light on this successful and highly-thought-of organisation.

Mental Health: How GPs need to change

21 Jul 2017 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health

All politicians of all parties both locally and in the UK say they want to address the crisis in mental health. 

Reforming prisons

14 Jul 2017 Ryan MillerJustice; Social Policy; Sector Issues

In the wake of some startling statistics about reoffending and youth justice, Scope looks at whether prisons represent the best way of reducing criminal behaviour.

Welfare reform will cause housing crisis - report

14 Jul 2017 Nick GarbuttWelfare Reform

Homelessness and evictions are set for a sharp rise as welfare reform is implemented in Northern Ireland, according to a stark report. 

£1bn could provide extra mitigations against Welfare Reform

7 Jul 2017 Ryan MillerSocial Policy; Sector Issues; Health; Welfare Reform

Kevin Higgins (third from left) at the launch of Advice NI's Universal Credit helpline

The DUP’s money from Westminster could provide a softer landing for September’s changes to social security – but decisions like this will need to be made by a functioning Executive and Assembly.

A new era for fund raising

7 Jul 2017 Nick GarbuttFundraising Funding

Charity fund raising entered a new era this week with the establishment of the Funding Preference Service. 

Why City Deals are the best bit in the Tory/DUP pact

30 Jun 2017 Nick GarbuttRegeneration

The Conservative/DUP deal has been much dissected and analysed. Yet the one clause with the most transformative potential has been largely ignored. 

Less uncertainty is a good thing

27 Jun 2017 Ryan MillerHealth, Education, Politics, Sector Issues

PM Theresa May needed to do a deal and the DUP has taken home some policy concessions and a lot of money

The Tory-DUP deal at Westminster will remove some of the many layers of uncertainty plaguing local politics and policy – overall, good news for the third sector.

How to strengthen democracy in Northern Ireland through people power

23 Jun 2017 Nick GarbuttNo Topics

There is wisdom in a crowd. Picture credit: Timon Studler, Unsplash

The current political impasse at both Stormont and Westminster raises important issues for the Voluntary and Community Sector, not least whether the Civic Forum should be restored. Nick Garbutt explores the issues. 

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