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Northern Ireland’s newest networking organisation – Personal Best NI – the first ever forum for Personal Assistants (PAs) and those supporting Chief Officers, today issued an invite for new members in advance of their next meeting on Tuesday, January 26, at Helm House, Belfast. Personal Best NI is the first group of its kind in Northern Ireland and aims to provide members with opportunities to share learning, best practice, experience and also to network with those in similar occupations across the region. Membership is not exclusive to PAs and includes Office Managers, Executive Assistants and Networking and Membership Co-ordinators. The…

Local charity Housing Rights is urging people who are worried about paying their mortgage following Christmas to contact them for free advice. Peter McMahon, Advice Services Manager with Housing Rights, said: “We know that many people in Northern Ireland are struggling with debt and will often put off dealing with it until after Christmas. We want to let them know that free advice and assistance is available and the earlier they seek help the more options are available.” Housing Rights offer a dedicated mortgage debt advice service on behalf of the Department for Social Development. Last year the service assisted…

The social justice charity Extern is celebrating after eight members of its Board achieved an ILM Award in Leadership and Management, focusing on leading governance. Following a Board meeting in Cavan, Board members were presented with their certificates by author, and former Governor of Mountjoy Prison, John Lornegan, who talked about his experience of working with young people within the justice system in Ireland. Welcoming the ILM Award achieved by Board members, Extern Chief Executive, Charlie Mack, said: “At Extern we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality services for our many clients.  I am delighted that our Board also has…

Business angels are more familiar with investing in high-growth startups, but a recent event at Halo, the NorthernIreland business angel network, resulted in a £28,000 “investment” into the NI Hospice. In a UK first, the charity did a full pitch alongside more conventional pitching businesses to over 50 angels at a Halo meeting at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners. Five anonymous angels “invested” £5,000 each, while £3,000 was raised from a table ballot on the night. The funding will now help towards fitting out three rooms at the new NI Hospice on Somerton Road in Belfast. Alan Watts, Director of the…

The pro-choice campaign group Alliance for Choice today launched their #trustwomen campaign to ensure abortion remains high on the political agenda for the May 2016 Assembly elections.  The social media campaign will lobby for  MLA’s  to:  • Trust women to make decisions about their own lives  • Ask for Legal Change to allow greater abortion access • Push for a free vote on any progressive change Speaking today at the launch, chairperson Kellie O’Dowd said “We are asking our current and potential MLAs to trust women. As a campaigning organisation we think it is important that current and future politicians are…

Virginia Salvador talks to VIEW about her difficulty in getting a job despite having a Masters degree “My name is Virginia Salvador. I am 31 years of age. I was born in Angola but have Portuguese nationality so it was not a problem if I wanted to come to Northern Ireland. “I have lived here for four years, two years in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, and now I am living in Portadown. I have a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology. A friend invited me to come here. He said it would be a good opportunity to work here and learn English. Angola…

 By Lucy Michael Afrophobia in Ireland is a new report detailing racism in Ireland against people identified as Black-African or who are of African descent. It explores reports over two years from people living in the Republic of Ireland about violent racism, discrimination and abuse. Incidents take a wide variety of forms including political hate speech, racist crimes, racist violence, intimidation and racist bullying and persistent and repeated racial harassment. People of African descent (black or mixed-race) report being constantly under surveillance in public spaces. As a Lecturer in Sociology at Ulster University, working with ENAR Ireland in Dublin, I…

Veteran human rights campaigner and STEP co-ordinator Bernadette McAliskey was the guest editor for the latest issue of VIEW, Standing Up To Racism. The editorial she wrote for VIEW is below; In the context of recent ISIS strikes at the heart of Europe and the threat of more to come, it might be argued that this might be the worst of times, and yet again the best, to raise the question of challenging racism in our own society. Nothing much has changed in the stark contrasts of perspective in the world since Charles Dickens wrote: ‘It was the best of…

Green Party member Judyta Szacillo tells VIEW of her concerns about OFMDM’s Racial Equality Strategy Last September we witnessed one of those rare moments in which the First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness stood shoulder to shoulder, smiled at the crowd and declared something unanimously. In this rare yet not entirely unexpected unanimity, they declared that Northern Ireland was ready to invite 2,000 Syrian refugees. The news was hardly surprising. After all, the refugee crisis met with an overwhelming response across the United Kingdom. The streams of donations seemed inexhaustible. The marches, the vigils, and the…

Young asylum seeker Fungayi Mukusera talks to VIEW about some of his experiences since arriving in Belfast “My name is Fungayi Mukusera. I grew up in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe. I am 29 years of age. “I came to Belfast to live with my brother. I left my country in October, 2012, because of the political situation and my own personal security. I applied for refugee status and I am still waiting for a response from the Home Office. If they reject my application, they would have to tell me how my personal security can be guaranteed…

Public views are being sought on how best to mark a plot in Belfast’s City Cemetery. The move follows requests to Belfast City Council for a permanent memorial in the area known as the ‘Baby Public Plot’. A consultation will focus on the site where the remains of up to 8,000 bodies are buried. Many of these bodies are stillborn babies or those who died shortly after birth. It will be carried out in conjunction with the Community Arts Partnership (CAP). Its aim is to encourage those most directly affected by the issue, as well as the wider public, to…

The Irish Labour History Society (ILHS) is to hold a free event about Belfast women workers in the Linen Hall Library, Belfast, on Saturday, December 12. Ms. Theresa Moriarty, ILHS honorary president, will give a lecture at 1:30pm. The title of the talk is ‘Our lives should not be sweated: Belfast Women Workers , 1910-1915’, which will include a discussion on the work of trade union organiser Mary Galway. This event is taking place to mark the donation of Irish Labour History Society publications, including back copies of  the journal Saothar to the Linen Hall Library archives. There will also be an…

Maeve Foreman reports on the transformation of a derelict site in Dublin into a thriving community garden There’s an area in Dublin’s north inner city, “westward of the North Strand, between Nottingham Street and Newcomen Bridge, and extending as far as Ballybough Road” that was originally known as Mud Island. For 200 years up to the middle of the last century it was a locality of evil repute, “inhabited by a gang of smugglers, highwaymen, and desperadoes of every description” (from The Neighbourhoods of Dublin by Weston St. John Joyce, 1909). It even gets a mention in James Joyce’s Ulysses…

By Brian Pelan, editor, VIEW A powerful exhibition of images highlighting people displaced by conflict in South Sudan was on display recently at the Linen Hall Library in Belfast. The event, organised by Oxfam Ireland, showed how the charity’s work is helping people in the area to rebuild their lives. Photographer Kieran Doherty, who took the images for the  ‘Make Them Visible’ exhibition, spoke at the event, along with Oxfam Ireland chief executive Jim Clarken. More than 1.6 million people have been displaced as a result of the conflict in South Sudan.

We put this question to Clare Bailey, deputy leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland. Below is her reply The Soil Association defines Organic Food as being produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods. So based on that definition it would be hard to imagine why this question needs to be asked, but asked it often is. Because prices for organic food are more expensive both on shop shelves and at farm production leads to YES being the answer to the question, Is Organic Food Just for the Middle-Class? It is a luxury many modest income never mind…

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