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Image: Simon Community chief executive Jim Dennison Simon Community chief executive Jim Dennison told a meeting in Belfast that “Government can end homelessness in the next five years”. Mr Dennison was addressing a Summit on Homelessness in Belfast which focused on developing a cross-cutting approach to ending homelessness in the next five years. The Summit, which was held in Grosvenor House, was chaired by former CEO of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Grainia Long, and featured long-time homelessness campaigner Fr Peter McVerry as guest speaker. Mr Dennison said: “Homelessness is a growing problem Northern Ireland, and the recent deaths bring into sharp focus the need for…

Image: A Peace Wall on Crumlin Road, Belfast Peace and reconciliation projects in Northern Ireland and the Republic have received a welcome boost as the International Fund for Ireland committed £1.9 million towards 20 initiatives. The funding, approved at the organisation’s recent Board Meeting in Limavady, includes £381,000 for four new projects that will support vulnerable young people who are unable to access or remain in traditional education and training provision. More than £760,000 will be shared among nine PIP projects aimed at transforming marginalised communities; and a further £756,000 has been allocated to seven initiatives that are developing new dialogue on…

Image: Residents and council officials enjoying a Community Spirit day in Toome, Co Antrim By Brian Pelan An innovative health project has boosted the spirit of residents in Toome, Co Antrim. Jenny Hanna, Pathways to Health Project Manager for the Community Development Health Network, based in Newry, Co Down, said: “We were delighted to be asked to be facilitators in a project between Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and residents in Toome. “The council wanted us to work with a community project that used co-production as its basis. It’s public services and local community services working together. We do a programme…

Image: Launching the new Ulster Bank & CO3 3rd Sector Index were Mark Crimmins, Ulster Bank, left, with Nora Smith, CO3, and Richard Ramsey, Chief Economist, NI, Ulster Bank. The vast majority of chief executives in social enterprises, charities, and community organisations are not hugely concerned about the impact of the National Living Wage on their organisations. This finding was reported in a new survey of chief executives belonging to CO3. The survey also found that third sector organisations are confident about their prospects despite a challenging environment and significant decreases in government funding, according to the Ulster Bank & CO3 3rd…

By VIEW guest editor Joanne Morgan, director of the Community Development and Health Network Being connected to my community has always been an important part of my life, even as a child. I have my mother to thank for that. As well as working full-time in the local high school, she ran a community choir, weekly Irish language classes and a three-week long Irish summer school for upwards of 100 children in a rundown community centre every summer. My mother knew the importance of connections. Learning a new language was a very small part of the plan; making new friends…

Lindsay Robinson tells VIEW editor Brian Pelan of her battle with postnatal depression and how she now wants to help other mums who may be struggling with the illness As the sunshine streaked into the living room of an east Belfast home, it was hard to believe that the radiant-looking young woman opposite me has been suffering from postnatal depression. Thirty-three old Lindsay Robinson, who is a mother of a two-year-old boy called Reuben and is married to Democratic Unionist Party MP Gavin Robinson, spoke softly as she described her harrowing experience. “I am five months into recovery and I…

Welcome to the latest issue of VIEW. https://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_issue_36_-_health A range of powerful news stories, features and analysis on key health issues in Northern Ireland and further afield. A big thanks to guest editor Joanne Morgan, director of the Community Development and Health Network and the support given to VIEWdigital by the Public Health Agency. http://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_issue_36_-_health/1?e=3341601/34523932

Develop art of digital storytelling to keep audiences coming back for more What are digital stories?  If you know about blogging you’ve already thought about digital platforms to engage audiences online.  During this practical session you will learn how to write interesting stories for web, digital and social media platforms and discover what truly engages and why. Led by Una Murphy, VIEWdigital co-founder, experienced Journalist, TV and Radio producer you will gain an insider insight into writing and publishing content on digital channels.. To book a place, go to https://viewdigital.typeform.com/to/JDXcj3

There was a superb turnout today at our infographic seminar in Belfast. Great work by VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy in organising it and the digital training tutor Sophie Mullen who delivered the session. A big thanks to all those from the voluntary/charity/community sector who attended today, including individuals from Start360, Bryson Recycling, Northern Ireland Social Care Workforce, Equality Commission NI, Belfast Central Mission, Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, Positive Life NI, Charity Commission NI, Bill of Rights NI, Human Rights Consortium, Law Centre NI and Conway Education Centre. Another infographic workshop to be held next…

Image:  Una Murphy VIEWdigital co-founder, left with Geraldine McAteer, CEO of the West Belfast Partnership Board and Briege Arthurs, CEO of South Belfast Partnership Board By Una Murphy More needs to be down to help bridge Northern Ireland’s digital skills gap, a conference for young people organised by the South Belfast Partnership Board has heard. The Digital Youth event at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, highlighted digital sector job opportunities in filmmaking, music, digital media,, connected health and game design. More than 100 young people took part in the Digital Youth conference from schools including St Joseph’s College and Malone College in Belfast and…

By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor Despite the ravages of time, the former Oldpark library in north Belfast still has a magisterial air about it. I visited the Carnegie building at the weekend to have a look at the building and to hear about the exciting plans to reopen it as a social enterprise. Supporters of the project are hoping for commercial revenue streams from office rental, enabling the other rooms to be free for education and training community, arts and social activities. The project is led by the Northern Ireland Foundation, an independent operating charity that has asked Quintin Oliver, its secretary,…

By Una Murphy, VIEWdigital Images: Kevin Cooper, Photoline, NUJ   A room full of women at Belfast City Hall, why does this feel so rare? I have been thinking a lot this month about International Women’s Day – particularly women’s lack of visibility in the media and public life. How do you tackle the problem of not seeing role models to inspire your life? One way forward is to go back…to the grassroots. Third sector organisations in the city such as WOMENSTEC are helping women make a visible difference to their lives by training them to take jobs in non-traditional…

By Damian Donnelly I was prompted to write this short article after being invited to conduct digital marketing training for organisations in the community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland on behalf of VIEWdigital. My objective was to explore the differences between digital skills in the private sector and those in the ‘third sector’. Here goes… Last summer, a report by NCVO into financial sustainability within the voluntary sector highlighted the paradox of decreased – or ‘stagnant’– income against a backdrop of increased demand… the net result of which, of course, is a need to do more with less. The report concludes by suggesting 10 things…

By Willis McBriar (lecturer/trainer) You do not have to look too hard for evidence that online video is becoming increasingly important to anyone with a message to get across. The technology is constantly improving and the price is continually coming down. However the quality of much video content leaves a lot to be desired. Too long, boring videos with muffled sound and unstable pictures are something we have all had to endure. Once the video is online it is very hard to make it go away, so many organizations fear the reputational damage or just the embarrassment of a poor…

Image: Kate Gorman with her Satellite Navigator which was funded after she applied for a Life after Stroke Grant. The Stroke Association’s Charity of the Year partnership with Royal Mail has raised £1 million to fund 5,000 Life After Stroke grants for stroke survivors. The company will continue to work with Stroke Association to raise a further £1 million by August 2016 to fund 10,000 recovery and activity grants. Strokes are one of the UK’s biggest killers and leading causes of disability. Every year there are more than 4000 strokes in Northern Ireland. The Stroke Association’s Health and Wellbeing team have visited Royal…

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