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Important lessons from a traumatic year

4 Dec 2020 Nick GarbuttCovid 19 Response

The vaccination programme marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic just as the shortening days herald the end of what has been an unforgettably traumatic year.

Covid-19 has highlighted NI’s lack of support for childcare

2 Dec 2020 Ryan MillerChildcare, Economy, Equality, Sector Issues, Social Policy

Photo by Marcus Spiske on Unsplash

The pandemic has shown once more how important childcare is to many families in Northern Ireland – and why proper help from Stormont is essential.

Pre-school segregation

27 Nov 2020 Nick GarbuttEducation

Stormont’s Education Chair Chris Lyttle said this week: “For an education system to separate children as young as five on the basis of community and religious background is socially and financially flawed.” That’s just the half of it.

The Right to a Home

27 Nov 2020 Nick GarbuttHousing

Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín explains her plans to revitalise the Housing Executive. 

Westminster needs to prioritise replacing EU funding

24 Nov 2020 Ryan MillerFunding, Fundraising, Sector Issues, Social Policy, Brexit

Northern Ireland has done pretty well from structural funding (graph from the Institute for Government)

The delay – or complete absence – of a consultation on the planned UK Shared Prosperity Fund is not encouraging. Perhaps this week will bring some news.

Paramilitaries and the pandemic

20 Nov 2020 Nick GarbuttJustice, Social Policy

Here’s a question you thought no-one would ever ask. What impact has the pandemic had on paramilitaries?

To tackle bullying, we must understand it

17 Nov 2020 Ryan MillerBullying, Mental Health, Young People, Children, Education

More than half of young people in Northern Ireland say they have been bullied in the past six months, according to research from the Northern Ireland Anti-Bullying Forum.

How social housing can put wealth back into local communities

13 Nov 2020 Nick GarbuttHousing

In all the excitement that surrounded the announcement of a new housing policy last week, it is important not to forget the enormous role played by Housing Associations in Northern Ireland.

Covid-19 support again puts charities in a bind

10 Nov 2020 Ryan MillerFundraising, Covid-19, Sector Issues

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Throughout the pandemic, Westminster has not responded to the needs of community and voluntary organisations or the people they serve. That needs to change.

Housing policy prompts Stormont love-in

6 Nov 2020 Nick GarbuttHousing, Social Policy

We’ve become used to American politicians coming over to Northern Ireland to show us how to run a democracy.

Pandemic transfer test debate lacks a resolution

3 Nov 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Covid-19, Social Policy, Equality

Education Minister Peter Weir

Even if the transfer test goes ahead, it might cause more problems than it prevents for an Education Minister who is wholly committed to academic selection.

Jobs, jobs, jobs: a hard winter beckons

30 Oct 2020 Nick GarbuttEconomy

One of the biggest problems in dealing with the economic aspects of the pandemic is that the statistics we need to shape responses are not available in time to make the right decisions.

The more we know about mental health, the better

28 Oct 2020 Ryan MillerMental Health, Children and Young People, Social Policy

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

New research into the general mental health of young people in NI could be transformative for policy makers - and for community and voluntary organisations providing services to local children.

A new kind of politics: the revolutionary Pope

22 Oct 2020 Nick GarbuttFaith, Politics

For the past three decades we have been encouraged to believe that there is no alternative to the liberal world order, that we have in that oft-quoted phrase reached the end of history.

Homework is complicated

20 Oct 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Equality, Covid-19

Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

Can homework plug the learning gap? Work from Parenting NI indicates the benefits of homework are complicated – and there is no one perfect policy.

Covid-19: why we have to take the pain

16 Oct 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth

As tough new restrictions are introduced to try to stem the spread of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland a furious debate has ignited as to whether we are doing the right thing.

Domestic violence in NI is epidemic

13 Oct 2020 Ryan MillerEquality, Justice, Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Covid-19

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

Almost one in five recorded crimes in Northern Ireland are crimes of domestic violence. Incidences of abuse in the home are on the rise. Covid-19 and lockdown has played a part – but the problems go deeper.

Community leadership: bringing on the next generation

9 Oct 2020 Nick GarbuttCommunities, Sector Issues

Many community and voluntary organisations face a looming crisis.

Water: the crisis you might not know about

6 Oct 2020 Ryan MillerInfrastructure, Water

Photo by Harry Grout on Unsplash

Northern Ireland’s water system is bursting at the joins. This is holding back economic and social development and damaging the environment.

Food banks, poverty and our broken Welfare State

2 Oct 2020 Nick GarbuttPoverty

How has it come to pass that in one of the wealthiest countries on the planet so many people are dependent on the kindness of others to provide for their most basic of needs, food?

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