Latest Updates

Stuck in the slow lane, 25 years on

14 Apr 2023 Nick GarbuttPeace Process

The holiday break gave many of us cause to reflect on just how slow progress has been since those heady Easter days of 1998.

Pay now, or pay (more) later? How the cost-of-living crisis is squeezing the third sector.

14 Apr 2023 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Children and Young People, Mental Health, Health, Funding, Childcare

Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Spiking inflation and weak public finances have put community organisations on the back foot. However, it would be short-sighted to let services wither. Where possible, we must spend to save.

Dormant Accounts: first phase closes

31 Mar 2023 Nick GarbuttFunding, Dormant Accounts

The first phase of Northern Ireland’s Dormant Accounts Fund closed to new applications this month.

Community transport, health transformation and public service collapse

29 Mar 2023 Ryan MillerHealth, Health Reform, Bengoa, Community Transport, Stormont

Stormont was rarely good and never perfect but the current zombie version is leading us to disaster. Our elected representatives must get back to work.

At the root of our health crisis is poverty

23 Mar 2023 Nick GarbuttHealth

Health inequality lies at the heart of the crisis in care we are living through. Yet few members of the public know what it means, or what needs to be done about it.

We need to talk about wealth inequality – not just now, but always

23 Mar 2023 Ryan MillerInequality, Poverty, Social Policy, Economy

Photo by Maria Lin Kim on Unsplash

Distribution of wealth should a headline talking point of economic discourse, alongside GDP, employment levels and inflation.

Peace: time for serious soul-searching

16 Mar 2023 Nick GarbuttPeace Process

US President Joe Biden is to visit Northern Ireland to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement (GFA).

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 MillerSector 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.


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