Latest Updates

Death is not the end

15 Mar 2023 Ryan MillerDeath, Grief, Mental Health

Photo by Rhodi Lopez on Unsplash

We all die eventually but, before we do, most of us encounter death many times. Not all of us handle it well. Additional support could help.

Badger baiting: cruel blood sport still rife

10 Mar 2023 Nick GarbuttEnvironment

The levels of animal cruelty we are prepared to tolerate tell us a lot about the levels of civilisation our society has reached.

Poverty has many faces

6 Mar 2023 Ryan MillerPoverty, Social Policy, Sector Issues, Social Security, Mental Health

Photo by James Feaver on Unsplash

New research reaffirms an old oddity – Northern Ireland has the lowest rate of poverty of any UK region. However, that’s not the whole story.

Money might be tight, but Northern Ireland has to treat vulnerable children better

2 Mar 2023 Ryan MillerEducation, SEN, Sight loss, Hearing loss, Vulnerable children, Disability

A functioning Stormont is better than nothing

The High Court this week declared that the rights of two children with sight loss were breached when authorities failed to help get them to school. This grim story points to a bigger problem facing NI.

Why The Windsor Framework makes sense

2 Mar 2023 Nick GarbuttBrexit

At its heart, the debate about membership of the EU and the subsequent falling out over the protocol was a clash caused by different visions, both of which are now impossible to achieve.

You won’t address economic inactivity if you misdiagnose the problem

23 Feb 2023 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Economic Inactivity, Carers, Disability, Social Security

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

The Chancellor has flagged up economic inactivity as an urgent issue. If he looks at this complex challenge and attempts a simple fix, he won’t get the results he wants.

Into the void

23 Feb 2023 Nick GarbuttPolicy

Have you ever wondered what happens to the reports, insights and research commissioned by interest groups and delivered to government at a time when we have no functioning government in place?

Dangerous, undignified, costing lives: hospital logjams

17 Feb 2023 Nick GarbuttHealth and Social Care

It has been a grim and desperately hard winter for hospital Emergency Departments (EDs).

Are we comfortable with continuing to fail children with SEN?

16 Feb 2023 Ryan MillerEducation, SEN, Social Policy

Phot by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

For years, mental health provision was described as Northern Ireland’s ‘Cinderella Service’. What words would best describe services for special educational needs?

Peace: look back to see how far we've come

9 Feb 2023 Nick GarbuttSector Issues, Sectarianism, Social Justice

It is only when you pause to look back at how things were in Northern Ireland that you can see just how far we have come since the days of mayhem and carnage.

The growing role of charities in society must be embraced

8 Feb 2023 Ryan MillerThird Sector, Sector Issues, Funding, Economy, Environment, Social Policy

Picture by Hayley Truong on Unsplash

A huge new report, years in the making, says that the community and voluntary sector’s increasing importance needs to be fully embraced. The private, public and third sectors all need to work together to build the best-possible future.

Seamus McAleavey looks back at his time at NICVA

3 Feb 2023 Nick GarbuttNICVAPeople

Modesty is such a rare quality among leaders in these days of “influencers” and social media braggarts that it can be disconcerting to come across it.

The third sector in a digital world: room for improvement

1 Feb 2023 Ryan Millerdigital, Sector Issues, Funding, Cybersecurity

Photo by Ashwin Vaswani on Unsplash

Research from late last year shows that organisations in Northern Ireland are not all fully comfortable in the modern digital age – but, with a bit of support, the right improvements are achievable.

Celine McStravick: taking the reins at NICVA

26 Jan 2023 Nick GarbuttNICVAPeople

Celine McStravick’s appointment as chief executive of NICVA seems the logical next chapter for a woman who has been deeply influenced by the sector she now represents.

Tough times can bring out the best in people

25 Jan 2023 Ryan MillerMental Health, Health, Cost of Living, Poverty, Sector Issue, Social Policy, Funding

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Two new pieces of research lay out two sides of the cost-of-living crisis: poor mental health, and communities rising to meet the problems we all face.

Stemming the tide of plastic pollution

20 Jan 2023 Nick GarbuttEnvironment, Climate Change

One of the biggest problems with addressing climate change is the sheer scale of the challenge.

Poverty isn’t just for Christmas

18 Jan 2023 Ryan MillerPoverty, Health, Mental Health, Loneliness, Older People

It's cold (photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash)

Distribution of the £600 home energy payment has begun. However, for some older people in Northern Ireland, huge challenges remain as they struggle both with the cost of living and the risk of loneliness.

If you thought last year was bad ...

13 Jan 2023 Nick GarbuttEconomy

The year 2022 was a disaster for households, especially poorer ones. Sadly 2023 is set to be even worse, according to the highly respected think tank The Resolution Foundation.

Does Stormont need to end designations?

12 Jan 2023 Ryan MillerStormont, Government, Polling, Politics, Protocol

Reforming Assembly and Executive structures has been suggested several times as a way to end the current impasse. Will that work, in theory or practice? Scope looks at one suggestion: weighted majority voting.

Data is growing. How it grows is up to us.

6 Jan 2023 Ryan MillerData, Human Rights, Health, Big Data, Sector Issues, Social Policy, Privacy

Photo by Stephen Dawson on Unsplash

Does big data provide an opportunity to improve the world? Can our personal info be used for nefarious ends? The answer to both is yes, potentially. Everyone should have an educated say in how we, as a society, use data.


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