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October is International Walk to School Month and the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging parents in Northern Ireland to do the school run on foot and start to feel the benefits for both them and their children. Statistics from the charity Living Streets show that in the UK 81% of parents with primary school children walked to school when they were younger, but today only 47% of their children walk to school. Colette Brolly, the PHA lead on physical activity, explained: “It’s important that children are introduced to a culture of being active from an early age as it…

Two new social housing developments totalling £9.2 million will underpin economic and community regeneration in north Belfast, Newington Housing Association said today More than 70 new homes in The Glen and Parkside schemes on Limestone Road have been handed over to tenants and the schemes were officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Nicola Mallon. Funded by the Department for Social Development, the developments will be accompanied by an additional 14 units which will be started by Newington Housing Association later this year. Regarded as a ‘flashpoint’ during The Troubles, high levels of civil unrest and community division have,…

By Una Murphy HOUSING expert Professor Paddy Gray has warned of a possible “timebomb waiting to explode” in Northern Ireland’s private rented sector. Banks are currently repossessing homes from buy-to-let landlords making the families who live there homeless. The private rented sector in Northern Ireland has grown rapidly in recent years and how accounts for nearly 17 percent of all households or nearly 130,000 homes. Many householders faced with landlords going bust will have to apply for homeless status with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, but public housing stock has dwindled in recent years. Most landlords in Northern Ireland’s private…

In September children, young people and adults across Limavady, Moyle and Coleraine will be taking part in world class music and dance workshops culminating in a World Of Music Arts and Dance (WOMAD) showcase event at Coleraine Town Hall at 7pm on Friday, September 19, as part of Culture Night celebrations. WOMAD is the world’s most prestigious international arts festival, now in its 31st year spanning 25 countries. In 2013, Beyond Skin (the local partner for WOMAD in Northern Ireland) commenced an ambitious four year outreach programme across the Isle to engage and unite communities and embrace diversity and global…

 The Mayor of Derry, Councillor Brenda Stevenson, has launched a campaign, in partnership with the CultureTECH Festival, to recruit 1,000 digital champions across the North West region. The campaign has been developed in support of the Go ON NI initiative which seeks to address the lack of digital skills across Northern Ireland.  As part of the campaign, the Mayor was joined by local business leaders and Councillors in the signing of a Digital Charter to signify the City’s commitment to addressing the digital skills divide.  Over 50 community organisations have already signed up and are committed to recruiting in excess…

VIEW’s digital media workshops have been designed to support organizations within the Community and Voluntary Sector to both up-skill and empower their employees in their outreach and communications work. Arranged into stand-alone sessions or groups of related areas, our workshops cater for all levels of experience, from beginner through to those holding front line media roles. Our team of established Media and IT practitioners is geared towards equipping professionals with “best practice” skills to implement both in their day to day work and strategic planning. So, whether you are new to social media platforms, simply want to fine tune certain aspects, need to…

By Dr. Enida Friel, Oxfam Ireland’s HIV Programme Coordinator 14,000 people have arrived in Melbourne, Australia to attend the 20th International AIDS Society Conference. It takes place every two years and is the most prestigious gathering of the AIDS community, attracting leading AIDS researchers, activists, practitioners and policy-makers in the world. People living with HIV, community workers along with President Bill Clinton and Si Bob Geldof are in attendance. They have come here to take stock of what has been achieved to date and to discuss how to keep up the pace in the future. But they are also in…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Just as I was about to retire to bed last night, I received a text message that all parents dread. My youngest son, Conor, and his friend had been involved in a car accident. Thankfully, they were not seriously hurt but were being treated for whiplash injuries at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast. I headed down to the A&E department at the RVH about 12pm with a bag of food supplies. As it was a Tuesday night rather than the weekend, the department was not overflowing with casualties. At least, I thought, it should…

Amnesty International has announced that controversial Dublin drag queen, Panti Bliss, will deliver this year’s Amnesty Belfast Pride Lecture. Earlier this year Panti Bliss, the drag persona of Rory O’Neill, took to the airwaves and the stage of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre to blast homophobia and homophobes. With her Noble Call speech, Panti went viral, attracting over half a million YouTube views. Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times called it “the most eloquent Irish speech since Daniel O’Connell”. Announcing her intention to deliver the Amnesty Lecture in Belfast, Panti Bliss said:“I told the Abbey Theatre audience that people who actively campaign…

BY HARRY REID It is early morning and the café at Belfast’s MAC arts center in the city’s Cathedral Quarter is slowly gearing up to greet the day ahead. Yet despite the early bird hour, there’s not even a scintilla of sluggishness from the woman sitting thoughtfully sipping a flat white coffee at the only occupied table. Emma Jordan is a decidedly singular person. Attending to the series of questions posed to her, she emerges as an intensely focused force of nature tempered by a beguiling sense of humour. As she locks on to each subject raised, I am glad…

Alana Hughes, a volunteer with the Northern Ireland branch of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, in front of Belfast City Hall recently as the building was lit up in the association’s colours for global awareness day. For further information visit www.mndani.com or Twitter @MNDA_NI If you would like your community/ voluntary organisation to be selected for The Big Picture in the next issue of VIEW, send images, marked ‘Big Picture entry’ to editorial@viewdigital.org If you would like your community/ voluntary organisation to be selected for The Big Picture in the next issue of VIEW, send images, marked ‘Big Picture entry’…

Local charity Housing Right Service is launching a new video for anyone thinking about renting privately at the Welcome Organisation in Belfast today. The Key to Successful Renting is a three minute video that is designed to help people find private rented accommodation and understand their rights. The video has been scripted and overseen by members of Northern Ireland’s first Private Tenants Forum – a group of tenants who have come together to help improve conditions in private rented sector. Many of the forum members have encountered difficulties in accessing and sustaining tenancies and want to see an improvement in…

With Ebola continuing to spread in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, bringing the epidemic under control will require a massive deployment of resources by governments in West Africa and aid organisations, according to the international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), while warning that it has reached the limits of what its teams can do.  Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 separate locations across the three countries, complicating efforts to treat patients and curb the outbreak. “The epidemic is out of control,” says Dr Bart Janssens, MSF director of operations. “With the appearance of new sites in Guinea, Sierra…

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