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Over two thirds (72%) of charities in the Republic have reported increasing demand for their services despite the economic recovery, according to a new survey of 262 charities conducted by The Wheel, Ireland’s representative and support organisation for charities. The survey that was conducted earlier this month also found that 33% of charities have had to cut back or suspend services in the past year due to a lack of funding, while over 42% have reported a drop in their income over the same period. Responding to the challenging environment facing the community and voluntary sector, Deirdre Garvey, Chief Executive Officer of The Wheel, today called on the Irish…

Stendhal Festival of Art has announced that folk singer Donovan will be the Friday Night headline act at this year’s event which takes place at Ballymully Cottage Farm, Limavady, on August 7 and 8. The folk singer’s career has spanned 50 years and 27 albums, including the songs ‘Sunshine Superman’, ‘Catch the wind’ and ‘Mellow Yellow’. Festival Director Ross Parkhill said: “Donovan is one of the most celebrated names in folk music with a catalogue of songs that play a part in the soundtracks to many people’s lives. It is a fantastic coup for Stendhal to have him headline our Friday night this year…

Image:  Karen Arbuckle, Director of Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE), left, with Nigel McKinney, Director of Operations of the Building Change Trust and Tiziana O’Hara of Co-operative Alternatives. Leading social enterprises, charities and co-operatives are lining up to buy shares in Northern Ireland’s first community owned solar enterprise company. Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) has raised £127,000 from its first community share offer, with more and more environmentally concerned organisations coming on board. Its directors have extended the deadline for its share offer until June 23 to meet its target of £150,000 and give other potential investors time to get involved in…

NEW research highlighting how children and young people in Northern Ireland are portrayed by the media was launched last week by Queen’s University Belfast in association with Include Youth. The initial research report from within the Childhood, Transition and Social Justice Initiative at Queen’s, shows how, from their experiences, children and young people assess the impact of negative media coverage on their lives. Speaking at the launch event Professor Phil Scraton, School of Law, said: “The constant emphasis on antisocial behaviour and negative reporting contributes to a climate in which young people are feared and discriminated against, over-regulated by the police…

Image: Professor Angela Eikenberry (centre) , who delivered a talk on ‘Giving Circles’ at the Skainos Centre in East Belfast. Completing the circle are (clockwise from top left): Sandara Kelso-Robb, Giving Northern Ireland; Clare Sheehan, Disability Action; Debbie Dagan, Chest, Heart and Stroke; Zoe Anderson, Start360; Kathy Morrow and Brid McLaughlin (both Ulster University). The discussion was part of Philanthropy Fortnight, which runs until May 1 Women are at the forefront when it comes to forming Giving Circles in Northern Ireland, a leading academic on Philanthropy told a Belfast audience of fund-raisers today. Professor Angela Eikenberry, who was invited to…

Photograph: Three women relaxing in the new community garden. Image by Kevin Cooper By Una Murphy LADIES who lunch turned into ladies who garden yesterday when the ‘Garden of Eatin’ had its official opening on Donegall Pass, Belfast. They were among local people who took time out to tour the new Donegall Pass Community Garden. Belfast City Council Local Investment Fund has contributed £38,000 for Donegall Pass Community Forum to set up and run the garden with the help of The Conservation Volunteers http://www.tcv.org.uk/northernireland The aim of the project is to give participants a opportunity to make new friends, reduce stress and…

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…

Image: Irish FA CEO Patrick Nelson, left, with Irish FA president Jim Shaw; Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister Carál Ní Chuilín and Jim Gamble, CEO of Ineqe, at the launch last night at Stormont FIFA president Sepp Blatter has given his personal backing to the Irish Football Association’s Safeguarding Children and Young People in Football app. Launched in 2014, the app was a world first as never before had such a sports app been developed. The app, which was developed in partnership with Jim Gamble, CEO of Ineqe, former head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency (CEOP), is…

The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland’s Acorn Fund Inspire Bursaries programme, supporting young people from County Derry, has opened for applications. Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, grants of up to £3,000 are offered to young people with disabilities to help them pursue training in their chosen arts. Successful applicants will receive mentored support during and following their award period from the Acorn Fund, and will in turn act as mentors for future bursary recipients. Previous recipient Donna-Marie Duddy used her bursary to produce her debut EP on a limited edition 12” vinyl. As an electric wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy, Donna Marie found it difficult…

Have your say on new, draft equality guidance for Northern Ireland’s charities before it’s too late, is the latest message from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. The Commission, Northern Ireland’s charity regulator, is running a public consultation on its draft guidance, which aims to support charities in understanding the complexities of equality legislation as it affects them. However, with the consultation due to close at 5pm on Tuesday April 28, 2015, time is running out for interested parties and individuals to share their views on the guidance.

By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor. Sinn Fein MLA Alex Maskey told a conference on homelessness in Belfast yesterday that it is unlikely a deal would be reached on welfare reform before the General Election on May 7. Mr Maskey, who addressed the conference, in his capacity as chairperson of the Social Development Committee at Stormont, also said that he couldn’t give great hope to the sustainability of the political institutions at the present time.  Alex Maskey The conference, held in the Crescent Arts Centre, was organised by the group Homeless Action and supported by the Simon Community and the Participation…

Residential mixing does not automatically lead to better community relations: Neighbours need to make incomers to mixed areas feel less threatened and vulnerable and more welcome and safe. This is the conclusion of a research report, ‘Exploring New Residents’ Experiences of Contact in Mixed Areas of Belfast’, commissioned by the Community Relations Council and produced by Queen’s University. The report will be launched at a seminar tomorrow at Crumlin Road Gaol. Dr Clifford Stevenson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at QUB, who led the research team, said: “Since the Belfast Agreement of 1998, there has been increased movement of people across…

The chief executive of a leading Northern Ireland youth charity told VIEWdigital today of her concerns over funding for her organisation in the present climate of cutbacks in the community/voluntary sector. Anne-Marie McClure left, who is in charge of Start360, which provides support services to young people, adult offenders and families, said: “This has impacted upon our organisation. At the moment, we are having to plan in a vacuum.” Ms McClure spoke to VIEWdigital shortly after addressing the organisation’s annual conference which was held today at the City Life Centre in Northumberland Street, Belfast “We are still waiting on the…

Tuberculosis (TB) has increased in Northern Ireland in recent years. Ahead of World TB Day on 24 March, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has released the latest figures which show that in 2014 in Northern Ireland there were 97* cases of TB reported. This is a significant increase (31%) from the previous year when 74 cases were reported and highlights that TB remains an important global and local public health problem. Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is also a major public health concern worldwide, as it is more difficult to treat and can result in more serious disease with higher mortality.…

Main image: Some of the guests at the launch of Northern Ireland Philanthropy Fortnight 2015 in Clifton House, Belfast By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Northern Ireland Philanthropy Fortnight 2015 was launched today amidst the beautiful interior of Clifton House, off North Queen Street in Belfast. Among those at the launch were Peter McVerry, from the radio station U105, Eamonn Donaghy, Fund Development Manager of The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland and Tracy Bell, office manager for Giving Northern Ireland. Below are a selection of images from the event. More details can be found at www.givingnorthernireland.org

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