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Image: Professor Paddy Hillyard, Queen’s University; left, with Jane Craven, guest editor and founder of the Whiterock Children’s Centre; Steven Agnew, MLA, Green Party leader and Brian Pelan, Editor of View Magazine, at the Stormont launch of the Child Poverty edition of VIEW                                                                                Copyright © Kevin Cooper Photoline NUJ By Claire Savage With the sun breaking through the clouds and the sky…

A beloved pet owl and her owners have returned to the Giant’s Causeway to thank the National Trust staff and locals who assisted in her safe return. When Patricia O’Callaghan and Terry Turkington were holidaying on the North Coast two weeks ago, they could hardly have anticipated the drama that would unfold when their beloved pet escaped. The couple are proud surrogate parents to adolescent Barn Owl, Arya, whom they have nurtured since she was a hatchling. Although still new to her trade, Arya is one of several birds that make up Falconry Services Belfast – a specialist pest control…

Image: Inside the Stormont chamber By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor There is a first for everything in life I made a ‘first’ today when I sat in the Press gallery at Stormont to listen to a debate on a Private Members’ Motion which concerned cuts in the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland. I was surprised to see the lack of any community/voluntary groups outside Stormont buildings as I was expecting to run into hundreds of angry protesters with banners that denounced the cuts. Because nothing concentrates the minds of MLAs as thousands of protesters denouncing their actions. My expedition to…

Image: Mary Patricia Craig and Kiane Dickson from Holy Family and Currie Primary School meet at the peace wall gate in Alexandra Park, Belfast, to record the girth of a tree during a Forest School programme shared by the two interface schools Children from schools in an interface area of north Belfast are transforming a peace wall gate with a grant from the Big Lottery Fund. Holy Family Primary School has been awarded £9,460 through the Awards for All programme to run a shared Forest School programme in nearby Alexandra Park with Currie Primary School. They are one of 82 groups…

Image: social entrepreneur Ruairí McKiernan: “I think people are saying enough is enough and we can be our own leaders” By Una Murphy I stumbled on the Uisneach Fire Festival in Westmeath through a tweet by a Cavan man last Saturday morning. Thirty-two-year old Ruairí McKiernan is a social entrepreneur from Cootehill, Co Cavan, and is a member of the Irish Council of State which advises the Irish President Michael D. Higgins. His contribution at the Heritage Talks Tent at the Uisneach Fire Festival was ‘Community Spirit Rising?’ Ruairí led a discussion about what can be done to “rebuild our country from the ground up”. Check out…

Image: Bill Osborne from the Building Change Trust giving an introduction at today’s seminar in the NICVA building in Belfast By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor Ulster University Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), who have been commissioned by the Building Change Trust to carry out research on the independence of the Voluntary, Community and Social Economy (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland, today held a seminar on the topic in the NICVA building in Belfast The future of an independent voluntary sector has become a matter of intense debate in England and a growing body of evidence is emerging…

Image: Bytes Project director Gail Ferguson: “The funding cut will have a devastating impact on young people” MLAs are set to discuss a cut of nearly a quarter of a million pounds to a young peoples’ charity today. The £220,000 funding cut to The Bytes Project will be raised at the DEL Committee. It follows a decision by the department last week to end its core funding to the charity for the present financial year. The charity runs a community and computers programme for young people not in work, training or education in Belfast and Derry. The Bytes Project director…

Image: A question and answer session was held after the film was screened. Contact Board Chair Tony Macaulay, left, with Dr Tony O’Neill,  Consultant Psychiatrist, Queen’s University; Martin Daly, consultant in service user experience; Siobhan O’Neill, Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University; producer Tim Palmer; lead actor Moe Dunford  and  writer/director Terry McMahon By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW Counselling charity Contact last night hosted the Northern Ireland premiere of the acclaimed  Irish film ‘Patrick’s Day’, at this year’s Belfast Film Festival. The screening, part of the Belfast Film Festival, was held in front of a packed audience at the Movie…

By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor The charity Save The Children have launched an online petition (http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/restart-the-rescue) following the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean in which 700 migrants are feared drowned. The petition urges UK politicians to support the renewal of rescue operations which have recently been scaled down. It’s a laudable campaign and one which should have all our support. The stance of Save The Children is in stark contrast to The Sun newspaper which recently published a column by Katie Hopkins in which she compared migrants to “cockroaches”. She wrote in her column on April 19; “Make no mistake,…

By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor I went along today to see a new photography exhibition at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, called ‘That Photo Thing – Reframing the Negatives’ from the group South Belfast Alternatives The images portrays stories of local people sharing their experiences of being a migrant abroad. Beside each photo is a short account from the subject on his or her experiences when living or working abroad as a migrant. Given the recent spate of racist attacks in Northern Ireland, the exhibition, in a simple but effective way, shows that many of us have been a migrant at…

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