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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…

Members of the Polish community have written to the Northern Ireland Executive to demand that a Hate Crime Action Plan is implemented following the recent wave of racist attacks on ethnic minorities. The letter is below: Call for the NI Executive to enact a comprehensive Hate Crime Action Plan. Rt Hon Peter Robinson MLA and Martin McGuinness MLA Northern Ireland Executive Stormont Castle Stormont Estate Belfast BT4 3TT CC: Minister of Justice David Ford MLA Dr Malcolm McKibbin, Head of the NI Civil Service Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Mr Mitchel McLaughlin MLA Chief Constable George Hamilton, PSNI Lord…

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…

Image: The panel at the Question Time event at the Mac in Belfast. By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor, Those who attended the ‘Question Time’ event at the Mac theatre in Belfast last night, who were looking for an answer to the question; Is there a future for the arts in Northern Ireland?, probably left none the wiser. Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough-Brown, DUP MLA Nelson McCausland, SDLP councillor Claire Hanna, Sinn Fein councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile and Ulster Unionist Party election candidate Rodney McCune were on the panel alongside the chair, journalist and broadcaster Wendy Austin. The evening started with…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan The debate over the welfare reform stalemate in Northern Ireland had not figured highly in the General Election debate until VIEW asked Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey a question about it at a conference on homelessness in Belfast last week. In response to my question: Did Sinn Fein believe there would be a deal on welfare reform before the General Election or after it was over? Mr Maskey said: “It is quite unrealistic to think we will get a deal on welfare reform before May 7. “At this present time, I couldn’t give great hope…

Kenny Flood, who spoke at today’s Homeless Action Conference in the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, was featured on the front cover of VIEW’s 21st themed issue on homelessness. He joined a host of other speakers at the event, including DSD chairman Alex Maskey, Mags Lightbody, Acting Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Jon Sparkes, chief executive of the Crisis organisation in England. The event was supported by the Participation and Practice of Rights organisation (PPR) and the Simon Community. Below are a number of images from the conference

By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW Many people who work in the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland are facing an uncertain future. Will my job be the next to go? they are now asking as the cuts start to hit hard. We recently witnessed how a number of arts groups lost their entire funding or had it significantly reduced after the Arts Council of Northern Ireland implemented the 11.2 per cent cut to funding passed on to it as part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s 2015/16 budget.  A number of high profile environment organisation have also been badly affected. In…

Image: Eamonn Deane, Chairperson of Holywell Trust and Helen Quigley, CEO of Inner City Trust Northern Ireland will host a major peace-building conference in Derry this month with a line-up of international speakers. The aim of the conference is to enable groups and policy makers from across Northern Ireland and beyond to engage with a range of inspirational people who will bring their global perspectives on peace building. The ‘Hope Beyond Hurt’ conference is organized as part of a project which has included the lighting of the City gates, a range of peace-building programmes, events and exhibitions, and will culminate this summer with the…

By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW Writer Newton Emeron’s assertion in his recent column for the Irish News (Saturday, March 28) that: “There is no evidence that ‘fuel poverty’ ever kills anyone in Northern Ireland” took me by surprise. The piece was under 130 words. This also surprised me given the complex nature of the subject. The article was in response to a claim by Age Sector Platform that fuel poverty kills thousands of people each winter. It’s clear from the research into this issue, including a term known as Excess Winter Mortality (EWM), that the relationship between temperature, influenza and…

By Brian Pelan Children and adults alike today discovered that food is not just about taste but also about using all your other senses at the Slow Food Kids’ Taste Adventure at the Ulster Museum. Organised by the Belfast Food Network, free interactive activities will feature good food, crafts, discussions with local producers and much more. Kerry Melville, Coordinator, Belfast Food Network said: “The Belfast Food Network was delighted to be host the Taste Adventure with the new Slow Food group.  “Families travelled through the seeing, touchy, smelly, tasty and hearing zones to complete their culinary adventure with local producers.” A selection…

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