Latest Updates

After Covid-19 let’s not return to business-as-usual

1 May 2020 Nick GarbuttEconomy, Covid-19

Joe Bilsborough, researcher at the Centre for Local Economic Strategies, argues for a better approach to re-building NI’s economy when the crisis abates.

Covid-19: The Shadow of Death

24 Apr 2020 Nick GarbuttPolicy

Death is not the end. For the bereaved it marks the beginning of grief.

Coronavirus: cross-party discussions are taking place at Westminster on UBI

22 Apr 2020 Ryan MillerInequality, Economy, Sector Issues, Social Policy, Poverty

Photo by Ming Jun Tan on Unsplash

The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us to examine the mechanisms of our society and economy. Options that were previously just theoretical are now on the table. The impacts could be enormous.

Will the EU survive Covid-19?

17 Apr 2020 Nick GarbuttPolitics

It’s not just people who are threatened by Covid-19, it endangers political institutions as well. The European Union now finds itself in an existential crisis.  

To protect vulnerable people during the pandemic, massive change is possible

16 Apr 2020 Ryan MillerHealth, Older People, Social Policy, Mental Health, Sector Issues, Fundraising

Older people are perhaps affected more than any other group by Covid-19, directly and indirectly. Scope speaks with Age NI about the needs of our older population, and how they changed their service model almost overnight.

Post Covid-19: A manifesto for communities

10 Apr 2020 Nick GarbuttCommunities, Policy

The pandemic will change the world, that much we know. The challenge is to change it for the better. Nick Garbutt makes the case for developing community economies.

One of the worst consequences of lockdown is an increase in domestic abuse

7 Apr 2020 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Justice, Sector Issues, Social Policy, Coronavirus

Frontline charity workers who work to tackle violence and other abusive behaviour in the home have been designated key workers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Covid-19 and the children of the pandemic

3 Apr 2020 Nick GarbuttHealth, Health; Social Policy; Sector Issues

A dangerous myth has been spreading that Covid-19 affects everyone in society in the same way, that it’s an equaliser that has no respect for wealth and status.

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.


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