Latest Updates

Government must create a coronavirus package for charities

1 Apr 2020 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Social Policy, Coronavirus, Funding

The COVID-19 crisis means the third sector’s work is more valuable than perhaps ever before. It is also much more difficult. This is a problem that must be fixed. Government help is essential.

When this is over, the world must change

25 Mar 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Policy

One day, hopefully soon the Covid-19 nightmare will be over. And on that day life will not be and should not be the same again.

Social security should be reasonable and sympathetic - but it is not

24 Mar 2020 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Welfare Reform, Social Policy, Health, Mental Health

Universal Credit administration takes a hard line, even with measures that are supposed to make allowances for people in difficulty. Work from Advice NI has exposed another fault line in the system, leaving vulnerable people in hardship.

RHI: some lessons for the civil service

20 Mar 2020 Nick GarbuttGovernment

When the final RHI report was published last Friday it was immediately shoved out of the headlines by the escalating coronavirus crisis.

Coronavirus and the third sector

18 Mar 2020 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Health, Mental Health, COVID19 (Coronavirus)

What should civil society do amidst the Covid-19 pandemic? This is a changing picture, any answers depend on the organisation, but immediate and practical steps are possible.

Northern Irish health staff sign letter demanding tighter coronavirus controls

16 Mar 2020 Ryan MillerHealth, Social Policy, COVID19 (Coronavirus)

The Royal Victoria Hospital

Hundreds of health officials have already signed up to the open letter calling for Stormont to implement major social distancing measures immediately.

Questions remain on extension of Welfare Reform mitigations

12 Mar 2020 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform, Social Policy, Sector Issues

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, Kevin Higgins from Advice NI, and mitigations expert Prof. Eileen Evason

March 2020 sees the end of Welfare Reform mitigations in NI. The newly-reformed Stormont has promised to extend this important service, yet some uncertainty remains.

Home working may be more than just a short term fix

11 Mar 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Society

Scope’s Nick Garbutt has worked from home for close to a decade. Here’s his advice for those facing the prospect as Covid-19 starts to grip.

First I must honour God: the Catholic RE certificate

5 Mar 2020 Nick GarbuttEducation

The return of Stormont gives legislators the opportunity to loosen the grip that religious organisations have on our schools.

Northern Ireland needs a Programme for Government that’s fit for the future

4 Mar 2020 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Environment, Health, Funding, Education, Social Policy

If we want to cut our cloth as best as possible for the short- and long-term, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals might be a good place to start.

Why we need a guardian of the future

28 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttEnvironment, Policy

One of the most difficult challenges for the restored administration at Stormont will be to address long-term challenges.

A changing world is daunting for parents

26 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Health, Mental Health, Social Policy

Photo by McKaela Lee on Unsplash

We look at Parenting NI’s second annual Big Parenting Survey, which explored concerns about tech – and asked parents about their hopes for their children.

Time to crack down on the gambling industry

21 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health, Social Policy

A consultation on reforming Northern Ireland’s hopelessly outdated gambling laws has just closed.

Tackling modern slavery is a job for everyone

20 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerJustice, Social Policy

It’s not very often that the public is at the forefront of dealing with serious crime. But, when it comes to slavery, we should all be vigilant.

Northern Ireland has the lowest poverty rates in the UK

13 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerWelfare Reform, Equality, Poverty, Housing

Photo by Tom Rumble on Unsplash

The latest annual poverty report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation shows the importance of affordable housing.

Only the lonely

13 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Mental Health

In most respects our health is better than our ancestors and we can thank technology for that. But in one important health indicator, loneliness, it is not.  

Climate Change: How charities can help

7 Feb 2020 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

Climate change is not just the greatest threat we collectively face. It is an existential threat. Combating it is a task for all of us: every government, every organisation, and every individual.  

Reducing net emissions requires many changes

6 Feb 2020 Ryan MillerEnvironment, Health

Northern Ireland emissions (graph from Pivotal PPF)

The Assembly has declared a climate emergency. There is no one way to fix this global issue – but it is great to see us take a seat at the table to take on this existential problem.

Restoring Ireland's forests, one tree at a time

31 Jan 2020 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

County Down man James McConville is an architect based in Sweden. He saw the rise of Greta Thunberg first hand and was inspired to make a difference himself back home.

We don’t know enough about academic selection

30 Jan 2020 Ryan MillerEducation, Inequality

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

A comprehensive study on the effects of academic selection in Northern Ireland is needed. A new report from Stranmillis University College's Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement shows why.

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