Latest Updates

East Belfast community work is ready to blossom

6 Sep 2019 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Social Policy, Economy, Equality

A multi-partner project aiming to build capacity and leadership among community groups appears to be that rare thing – an unqualified success.

Mary Ann McCracken, a tireless campaigner for social justice

30 Aug 2019 Nick GarbuttSector Issues

The Belfast Charitable Society, the city’s oldest charity, has set up a foundation to celebrate the life and work of one of Belfast’s most remarkable women – Mary Ann McCracken.

Autism petition approaches 10,000 signatures

29 Aug 2019 Ryan MillerMental Health, Health, Education, Equality, Social Policy

Autism NI is calling for mandatory autism training for all teachers in Northern Ireland –organising a petition they will present at Stormont next month. Scope speaks with CEO Kerry Boyd.

The need for smart justice

23 Aug 2019 Nick GarbuttJustice

The Northern Ireland Probation service is consulting the public on how it should develop its services in the future.

Independent Guardian Service marks a year of helping children in desperation

21 Aug 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Immigration, Modern Slavery, Sector Issues

Michele Janes, Head of Barnardo's NI

In 12 months, Barnardo’s NI helped 55 children and young people who were trafficked to NI or who arrived here alone. Some of their circumstances are heartbreaking. Scope takes a look.

Obesity, fitness trackers, and the war on diabetes

15 Aug 2019 Nick GarbuttHealth

There are currently 96,000 people diagnosed with diabetes in Northern Ireland – that’s 6% of the population. By this time next year that figure will rise to more than 100,000.

The Boris bounce and the science of optimism

15 Aug 2019 Nick GarbuttPolitics

Before he took office Jacob Rees-Mogg said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson “must peddle optimism as if he were a steroid-boosted cyclist trying to win the Tour de France.” And so it has come to pass.

Mental health: learning from the real experts

9 Aug 2019 Nick GarbuttMental Health, Health

There is a growing trend for health professionals to acknowledge that patients and their families are experts by experience.

The price of rights

9 Aug 2019 Ryan MillerSocial Policy, Human Rights

Chief Commissioner Les Allamby

The NI Human Rights Commission is struggling to function within its current budgets. Recurrent cuts have left some of its main functions unavailable. This needs to change.

Poverty is bad for you

1 Aug 2019 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Social Policy, Equality

Photo by Anton Darius | @theSollers on Unsplash

Northern Ireland has startling gaps in life expectancy between rich and poor areas. Scope looks at the latest figures from the Department of Health.

The future of wellbeing – prevention, tech, and more

30 Jul 2019 Ryan MillerHealth, Mental Health, Wellbeing, Social Policy, 4th Industrial Revolution

Photo by from Pexels

Mental health provision has never been good enough. As our understanding of mental health improves, we need to build a system fit for the future, not the present. Technology will play a part. We need to decide what part that is.

Boris: obesity and the nanny state

26 Jul 2019 Nick GarbuttHealth

Boris Johnson’s elevation to Prime Minister will have profound – and potentially negative – impacts on public health policy.

Unpicking the thinking behind votes

24 Jul 2019 Ryan MillerPolitics, Social Policy

New Prime Minister Boris Johnson

A new PM will – ultimately – mean elections. Low-income voters are energised, having re-engaged in UK politics. This is an opportunity for politicians who support their interests. It could be the downfall of those who don’t.

The neglected miracle cure: walking

19 Jul 2019 Nick GarbuttHealth, Environment

There is one thing almost everyone can do, every day and at no cost, that would simultaneously improve their health, fitness, mental wellbeing and reduce pollution. Walking.

Skills shortages: the meaning and consequences of barriers to growth

17 Jul 2019 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Social Policy, Brexit

Photo by sol on Unsplash

The third sector employs more than 50,000 people in Northern Ireland. However, organisations say they struggle to find suitable candidates for new jobs. Brexit won’t help.

What happened at the Battle of the Boyne

11 Jul 2019 Nick Garbuttculture, history

James and his forces were doomed. The Boyne was the only defensible barrier between the Williamite army and Dublin but the ground he had chosen to fight on was not.

NI charities and digital – a doubly slow change of approach

10 Jul 2019 Ryan MillerSector Issues, Fundraising

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The third sector in NI is lagging behind other areas in its approach to digital. However, even in the rest of the UK the pace of change is sluggish.

How's life?

3 Jul 2019 Nick GarbuttPolicy

Governments traditionally measured performance by looking at Gross Domestic Product – the value of goods and services. These days the emphasis has shifted to measuring wellbeing – how people feel about their lives.

Westminster turns to people power to help tackle climate change

3 Jul 2019 Ryan MillerClimate Change, Environment, Democracy, Politics, Policy

Photo by Deniz Fuchidzhiev on Unsplash

The UK’s planned new Citizen’s Assembly – specifically set up to look at climate change – could be good news for democracy and the planet, and also provide a positive legacy for an otherwise dire term of parliament.

Employers for Childcare publishes annual childcare report

27 Jun 2019 Ryan MillerEquality, Education, Economy, Sector Issues, Social Policy

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The need to restructure childcare in Northern Ireland has long been ignored. But the campaign for change is building momentum.


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