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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…

Image: Towards A Better Future conference took place at the Skainos centre in east Belfast By Una Murphy There’s a hate chart in Northern Ireland and here is the countdown. Number one Sectarianism, Number two Racism, Number three Homophobia. It you or your friends or relatives could be picked on for any of these ‘top three’ hates you would be looking to the powers-that-be to sort it out. The Towards A Better Future conference organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building took place at the Skainos centre in east Belfast to consider the way forward Thought provoking presentations from documentary…

VIEWdigital attended the Digital South – Digital Youth event organised by the South Belfast Parnership Board at the Ulster Museum recently.  Co founder Una Murphy showed VIEW magazine in print, on tablet and laptop to pupils from Malone College. Digital South provides a platform to create, develop and support digital technologies.  The aim is to enable community groups, businesses and citizens to get the most out of the digital economy. We were also delighted to receive a letter (below) from the South Belfast Partnership to thank us for our participation.

Staff from Mencap NI’s LiveNet project have attended a VIEWdigital ‘Digital Stories’ workshop. The team (pictured from left) Rosie Maguire, Kieran Quinn, Jemma Dougherty, Rosie Parkes, Lauren Quinn with Tracy Mearns LiveNet Project Co-Ordinator at the front are with trainers Angelina Fusco, former BBC NI TV Newsline Editor at the back and Una Murphy VIEWdigital co-founder second from left. LiveNet provides a range of learning opportunities to enable children and adults with a learning disability and their carers to use information and communications technology (ICT) to improve their health and wellbeing, gain access to information, connect with their community and help achieve their full potential. We are looking…

Belfast mother Angela Fields, whose eldest daughter Nicole died from Rett Syndrome, has appealed to the public to support the work of the Northern Ireland’s Children’s Hospice. The hospice is the only service of its type within Northern Ireland caring for children and young people with very complex needs. There are over 1,300 life-limited children and young people and their families living in Northern Ireland who need the specialist care that only the Children’s Hospice can provide. “Nicole, left, died in 2004 at the age of 16 from Rett Syndrome, which is a rare brain disorder that causes severe disabilities,”…

Journalist Mary O’Hara tells VIEW why she decided to write the book, Austerity Bites, which concentrates on describing the brutal effects of economic cuts on working class families throughout the United Kingdom In the forward to Austerity Bites, comedian and political activist Mark Thomas writes: “This book gives voice to those at the bottom of the heap , those who struggle just to exist. This book is ammunition. Use it.” The reader is taken on a grim journey by author Mary O’Hara in which we get to hear the voices of those suffering the brunt of austerity. Ms O’Hara said:…

Check out our latest issue of VIEW. A comprehensive round-up of the news that matters in the only independent online magazine for the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland – http://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_28_issue_pdf/0

VIEW editor Brian Pelan, VIEWdigital c0-founder Una Murphy and VIEWdigital trainers Angelina Fusco and Willis McBriar handing out valuable media tips at a series of free workshops, which took place recently at the Holywell Trust in Derry as part of CultureTECH. The event was organised between VIEWdigital and the North West Community Network. A range of people who work in the community/voluntary sector attended the seminars. The response from those who attended was very positive

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,…

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