2016: An amazing year for VIEW magazine and VIEWdigital training courses

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Image: Jonathan McAlpin of East Belfast Enterprise (centre) with Stephen Patton from George Best Belfast City Airport and Geri Wright from Phoenix Gas at the announcement of the finalists in the inaugural Eastside Awards

By VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy

Finalist in the Eastside Award. A great start for my review looking back at 2016 for VIEWdigital Publishing and Media Training Social Enterprise set up with co-founder Brian Pelan .

I was born and raised in East Belfast and earlier this year we moved the business to City East Business Centre, where I have had great support from Chief Executive Jonathan McAlpine.

Sometimes it’s difficult to stand up and shout about what you do but I’m relishing this opportunity not just to look back on the last 12 months but the past five years of working with Brian, who left the Belfast Telegraph and became editor of VIEW magazine. He has produced more than 40 editions of VIEW and we have written articles for the VIEWdigital online news site and hosted training by media industry associates – who are experts in their fields – to help community organisations and others communicate their stories and create their own media content.

Looking back more than five years ago, my interest in the community and voluntary sector all started when I decided to volunteer for the Media Trust and organised several ‘Speed Matching’ events between media professionals from newspapers and broadcasting organisations and local community organisations at the Law Centre in Belfast. Les Allamby who was the director and is now Chief Commissioner at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission supported this idea. I also volunteered for the Media Trust’s ‘Do Something Brilliant’ campaign travelling to the London headquarters of the Media Trust for meetings and forming friendships with many people making a difference in their communities, including Jennifer Jones from Scotland, who was coordinator of the Digital Commonwealth project, who invited me to co-host media training at the University of the West of Scotland in Ayr to staff and volunteers from community organisations. She also came over to Belfast to work with me on a Digital Media workshop.

Last December we had published an edition of VIEW magazine on tackling racism

In February we looked at housing

In April this year health was on the agenda

In May we had the opportunity to work with the Quakers looking at prison and justice

In June VIEW investigated how organisations measure their social impact which is topical due to the Northern Ireland Programme for Government and new ways of measuring how the Voluntary and Community sector makes an impact.

In September VIEW had a special edition launched at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast on the arts

In October we met families of people who had tragically ended their lives through suicide working with Contact to tell their stories

This week we published VIEW magazine on the theme of loneliness, a timely reflection on how tough it can be for some at this time of year

We’re looking forward to the year ahead. Thanks to all who had given us advice and support on the journey to date. If you would like to receive a FREE digital copy of VIEW magazine and training updates why not sign up here and become part of the VIEWdigital story?

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