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Social Affairs magazine for community/voluntary sector Website:


Issue 26, 2014


Residents battle to keep green amenity Full story on pages four and five


VIEW, issue 26, 2014

Hard times Page 6 A new report has highlighted the squeeze on families from soaring energy bills and benefit cuts


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Pages 12-13 Campaigner Bernadette McAliskey was among those at a recent DTNI conference in Belfast

Funding award

A love affair

Pages 8-9 Artistic director Emma Jordan, right, explains what a funding award means for the future work of her company

Pages 14-15 Una Murphy meets European volunteers who are working in the voluntary/community sector here

Touch of art

Charity advice

Page 10 Lawyer Catherine Cooney, above, offers some words of advice on charity registration in Northern Ireland

PHoToLinE Photographer Kevin cooper has more than 25 years experience in Press and Pr photography. Kevin works to a wide range of clients in community and voluntary sector organisations as well as the trade union movement. For quoTaTions conTacT Kevin cooper E: T: 028 90777299 M: 07712044751

Pages 18-19 Joseph Pelan, above, checks out Contemporary Sketchpad – a new arts/music community venue in Belfast


VIEW, the online publication for the community/voluntary sector in Northern Ireland.


nce in a while a certain story comes along your way and you know you will have to cover it. It may not be earthshattering news but it means something on a very personal level. Such a story is our front page cover about the struggle by residents in west Belfast to protect and hold onto a green site know as Glassmullin Green. I know the area well because I grew up there. The large field, surrounded on all sides by houses, holds many memories for me and all those from the area, including those who have moved away to far off fields. Along with my parents, brothers and sisters, I moved

VIEW editor Brian Pelan into the area in the late 1960s. Glasssmullin Green represented an escape from a packed house. My friends and I played there long into the night, all hoping that are parents would not call us in. The field also has its own history. In 1969 it served as a

‘temporary home’ for refugees fleeing from their homes as the Troubles engulfed Belfast. Families lived in caravans on the field which were later replaced by chalets. For a while the field returned to its natural state as the families were rehoused and moved on. The British army later occupied the field and built a fort, known locally as Silver City. They in time also moved on. And now the field is under threat once again as a local school has applied to build a sports facility on it. My late parents, Joe and Rosaleen, would, I think, have supported the residents’ attempt to hold onto the green site. Read the story on pages four and five.

VIEW, issue 26, 2014

Bliss as Panti is booked for Pride lecture A


mnesty 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 for gay people to be treated in an inferior fashion are, in my gay opinion, homophobic. I have a feeling that message is just as relevant in Belfast as it is in Dublin.” Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said: “We are delighted that Panti is Belfast-bound to deliver the Amnesty Pride Lecture. She is one of Ireland’s most articulate advocates against the discrimination and persecution of LGBTI people everywhere and that is an important message for Belfast and the world.” The Amnesty Pride Lecture will take place at Belfast’s MAC theatre on Thursday July 31. Tickets are available for £3 from The MAC box office: 028 9023 5053.

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Group of residents in west Belfast By Brian Pelan


group of residents in Andersonstown, west Belfast, have vowed to continue their campaign to save a local green space from development. Glassmullin Green, which is surrounded by houses on all sides, is the subject of a planning application by the nearby De La Salle College who want to turn the field into a sports facility. In an area with high density housing and few public green spaces, residents, who live close to Glassmullin Green, have argued that a sports facility, if built under the present plans, would drastically affect their quality of life. “We are opposed to the present planning application which proposes to develop an artificial turf pitch with associated classrooms, changing facilities, parking, floodlights and fencing,” said spokesperson Aithne Kerrigan.

I played on the green as a boy. I play on it now with my children and my grandchildren. I want to protect it for them

“We’re very aware that some of our neighbours don’t have gardens and really rely on the open green space at Glassmullin. If this proposal goes ahead, it will dramatically restrict access to the green. We have raised our concerns with De La Salle College, the Planning Service, elected representatives from all the parties, Belfast City Council and the landowners the NI Housing Executive. We hope they see sense and protect this valuable open green space for everyone.” Ms Kerrigan added: “We are not opposed to any planning proposals. But we need the present proposal withdrawn.” Resident Martin Derby, who has lived in the area since the 1950s, said: “I played on the green as a boy. I play on it now with my children and my grandchildren. I want to protect it for them.” Fiona Kane, acting principal of De La Salle College said: “De La Salle does not have its own playing fields due in the main to the school’s location. The result is that pupils are denied a facility to which they are entitled. “Department of Education recommendations for a school of De La Salle’s size states the school is entitled to five pitches. The creation of these new facilities would deliver a range of benefits. These include an enhanced physical education programme through the improved delivery of the National Physical Educational curriculum.”

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t vow to save Glassmullin Green

Clockwise from above: Some of the residents who are campaigning to save Glassmullin Green, a map of the proposed development and a group of children from the area on the green space in 1956

VIEW, issue 26, 2014


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The elderly, the young and low income working families have been hard hit by benefit cuts in the UK

Couple with two children ‘must earn £40,600 to meet basic needs’


couple with two children needs to earn £40,600 to have an acceptable standard of living, almost 50% more than before the recession, according to a report that highlights the squeeze on families from soaring energy bills and benefit cuts. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) said its latest research into what the public considered essential to reach a minimum acceptable standard of living showed a growing gulf between what people needed to earn and their actual incomes. The analysis shows that even as real wages start to rise again, low-earning families with children are unlikely to be able to close the gap between their income and their needs, due to low pay, rising prices and reduced government support. A Minimum Income Standard for the UK, from the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), is an annual living standards benchmark. It provides a barometer of what has happened to living

standards for low income families since the downturn and during the recovery. For the first time, pensioners say that having the internet at home is essential to allow them to participate in society. Working age people without children, on the other hand, say that a landline is no longer an essential. The research by Loughborough University found the cost of a minimum socially acceptable standard of living has increased by around 28 percent since 2008, higher than the official inflation rate of 19 percent, which is due to rising costs rather than rising expectations. Over the same period, the National Minimum Wage has increased 14 percent and average earnings nine percent. In 2008 if each parent earned £14,000 the family would reach an acceptable living standard. If their earnings had increased in line with the average since 2008, they would now earn £15,000 each. That is over £5,000 short of the £20,400 each they would need to earn today to reach an acceptable living

standard. A lone parent with one child needs to earn £27,000 – more than double the £12,000 needed in 2008. Families with children have significant ground to make up in order to make ends meet. This is not only because of the soaring cost of essentials but also because of cuts to benefits and tax credits. Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of JRF, said: “These figures show there is still a lot of work needed to make up the lost ground for low income families.” Abigail Davis, an author of the report, said: “Throughout the past few difficult years, the people we talk to have held a consistent view of what it means to live at an acceptable level in the UK. It means being able to afford to feed your family and heat your home properly, but also having enough to buy a birthday present and the occasional meal out. “The growing number of people who fall below this standard are unable to afford basic goods, services and activities that most of us would take for granted.”

Practical advice and a sensitive personal approach. We pride ourselves on our unrivalled commitment to clients’ needs.

Edwards & Co. solicitors advises charities and the voluntary sector in Northern Ireland on a wide range of legal issues including charity creation, charitable status and constitutional matters, trading and commercial arrangements, employment law, finance, fundraising and property law, as well as dealing with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Our team offers a full range of legal services including mediation, wills,criminal law, clinical negligence and personal injury claims, as well as family/matrimonial work.

Contact Jenny and Teresa: Edwards & Co. Solicitors, 28 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA. Tel: (028) 9032 1863 Email: Web:

VIEW, issue 26, 2014


The Prime of Ms Emma Jordan

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Prime Cut theatre’s artistic director tells Harry Reid what a £295,000 funding award means for the future work of the company which she leads


t 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 to have put thought into the selected topics for discussion. For while generous with her time, it becomes apparent during the hour and a half of our interview, that a frenetic schedule means time is at a premium, and that time wasting is not something that Emma has time for. Our conversation begins with the recent

possible for me to have time to develop new approaches to making theatre and integrating it with film, choreography and sound.” The form that such new approaches to theatre will yield can only be guessed at, but judging by Prime Cut’s two decades plus track record, it’s a fair bet that four core elements will be part of the mix – that the work will be politically charged, involve considerable spectacle, and have significant degrees of both locally based community engagement and international collaboration. All of these elements were for example interwoven in Prime Cut’s recent large-scale production ‘The Conquest Of Happiness’. Produced collaboratively with the Sarajevo based East West Theatre Company and jointly directed by Emma and legendary theatre and film director Haris Pasovic, this large scale production was performed in, amongst other venues, Belfast’s T13 cycle park and under the

This kind of money is exceptional as it’s given without restrictions to help artists get to where they want to be and do work they most want to do

announcement that the Paul Hamlyn Foundation has awarded her £295,000 in a no strings attached four-year investment in her theatrical endeavours. “This money comes from the Breakthrough Fund established six years ago by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. They set it up to support the work of what they call ‘exceptional cultural entrepreneurs’, which I basically understand to be people who can make stuff happen in terms of the arts within their role in society.’ “This kind of money is exceptional as it’s given without restrictions to help artists get to where they want to be and do the work they most want to do. It’s both humbling and liberating. I’m delighted to be only the second person from here to get such an award, the other being Stuart Bailey back in 2008 to support his work with young people and music at the Oh Yeah Center. “My award will be going on a mixture of helping with Prime Cut’s existing core costs, supporting the development of a group of emerging artists and in terms of making it

iconic bridge at Mostar in Bosnia. ‘The Conquest Of Happiness’ featured a wide ranging series of vignettes from scenes of conflict and repression ranging from Nazi Germany to the Rwandan genocide, by way of Derry’s Bloody Sunday and the Balkan calamity and counterpointed these events with the work of philosopher and peace campaigner Bertrand Russell. Emma says: “Every year one of our three productions is a show based on lengthy community engagement to develop the confidence and trust of, and relationships with, people in the most economically deprived areas here. My vision is for theatre to simply become part of what people, irrespective of background or economic status, do.” Fresh from performing a trilogy of plays about Pinochet’s Chile, Prime Cut have already moved on to devising their next production which will satirise middle class life in Belfast. Emma adds: “Watch out for something special staged in forests and bogs, something dreamlike where innocence and horror collide.”

Above: Prime Cut artistic directo Happiness which was staged, amo

VIEW, issue 26, 2014


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r Emma Jordan in The Mac in Belfast and below, scenes from the company’s joint production of The Conquest Of ongst other places, at Belfast’s T13 cycle park and at Mostar in Bosnia Main picture: Kevin Cooper

VIEW, issue 26, 2014


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Taste of China: Members of the Chinese Welfare Association at the Mountcollyer Youth Centre in north Belfast. The event is part of a Youth Intercultural Art Project, supported by Mountcollyer and Holy Family youth groups and the Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum Seekers (NICRAS)

Seminar held to give update on charity law


harity registration in Northern Ireland is well underway and compulsory for all charities which meet the public benefit test. In other words if you are a member of a committee, a trustee or a director of an organisation which meets these requirements you are requried to apply to register your organisation with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (“the Commission”). A charity must have purposes which fall under one of the descriptions listed in the Charities Act and these purposes must be for the public benefit. The charitable purposes include the relief of poverty, the advancement of education or religion, the promotion of health or the saving of lives, citizenship or community development, arts, culture, heritage or science and amateur sport. Edwards & Co. conducted a successful seminar for invited guests at The MAC last Wednesday, June 25, together with the

including Jenny Ebbage, Head of Charities and Enterprise and the Commission, including Punam McGookin, Head of Charity Services, circulated amongst the tables of charity trustees and other persons involved with similar bodies that may fall under the remit of the Commission to discuss the relevant topics – Who is a trustee? What is your governing document and does it need amended? What is the public benefit requirement? All charity trustees must remain mindful of their responsiblities especially in this climate of rapid change in the sector. Both Jenny Ebbage and Catherine Cooney can advise on charity registration, governing documents and the responsibility of charity trustees. Advice: Catherine Cooney Commission to outline recent charity law developments and the process of registration of charities. Experts from Edwards & Co,

• Contact them at or 02890321863 • Catherine Cooney: catherine.cooney@edwardsand-

VIEW, issue 26, 2014


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Most people don’t bite the hand that feeds them, McAliskey tells conference

By Una Murphy


hen Bernadette McAliskey addressed the Development Trust NI (DTNI) ‘Making Local Work’ conference at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall in June she took to the stage on crutches. “If I don’t feel the pain I can’t work out what the solution is,” the veteran campaigner, who is CEO of the South Tyrone Empowerment Project (STEP), told the audience. She said that STEP, which received EU peace funding, had decided that what ‘community’ meant was a “community of place, an administrative area”. She said there had been significant inward immigration into the labour market within the local community. Ms McAliskey spoke of STEP’s aim of building a sustainable community. She added that many community and voluntary sector organisations had become agents of delivery of the government’s social programme and “most people don’t bite the hands that feed them”. She added: “Have we become dependent on the 100 percent letter of offer and we cannot get out of the bed in the morning without a grant?” Steve Clare from Locality in England told the conference that Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society “had been used as a cover for cuts in public spending and had become discredited”. He added: “Big Society is now known as BS”. He warned of the “Tesco-isation” of public services if the private sector is awarded contracts to provide them. “There are two key challenges; legitimacy – who is best placed to decide on how services are delivered and redesigning public services to make them ‘local by default”. John Mullan, CEO of Bryson Charitable Group and one of the founding members of DTNI, said the creation of new markets for social enterprises were needed. He added there should be a shift away from grant funding. He said that three challenges were making public services local by default, working with local and central government and making new social finance products available. Colm Bradley told the conference

Above: Bernadette McAliskey and below, John McMullan, chief executive of the Bryson Charitable Group, who were both at the recent Development Trust conference at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast McAliskey image: Kevin Cooper

that the procurement of public services must protect public benefit. He warned that investment companies were gearing up to provide care homes for children and the elderly which were traditionally provided by the public sector.

He warned that the private sector could undercut on price to win contracts when public services are put out to tender. “How do we design community transfer to protect public benefit?,” he added.

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Leading the way to show that Making Local Work pays off DTNI has promoted eight pilot programmes to show the benefit of ‘Making Local Work’ The Leafair Community Association in Shantallow, Derry, has taken over two neglected soccer pitches and transformed it into a 3G floodlit pitch, pavillion and playpark. Bangor Share Space hope to boost regeneration of the Co Down seaside town by taking over the disused courthouse. They plan to support arts, culture, heritage and social enterprise organisations in the refurbished building. In Co Antrim, Broughshane

and District Communication Association wants to transform a former police station into a community resource with housing for the elderly and a restaurant. The Resurgem Community Development Trust aims to refurbish and build houses in Lisburn city and has identified two sites for redevelopment. In north Belfast, the Greater Whitewell Community Surgery wants to change a primary school, closed down in 2013, into a cross community space with housing and a sports facility. Ardoyne Youth Providers’

Forum wants to use a former girls’ secondary school to house facilities for the Marrowbone and Ardoyne areas, including health, youth and childcare services. Duncairn Community Partnership plans to take over derelict strips of land on an interface to provide a shared space for local communities where anti-sectarian work could be carried out to boost community relations. And in Belfast city centre the Cathedral Quarter Trust want to secure the long term future use of two buildings to support the development of the area.

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A love affair with Norther Una Murphy meets a group of European volunteers and asks them about their views on working in Northern Ireland


uropean volunteers from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Portugal and Poland have embraced Northern Ireland with gusto but just don’t ask them to like the food. The young people with a joie de vivre are determined to give a helping hand to community and voluntary sector organisations, including Volunteer Now, Ulster Wildlife Trust, Womens’ Aid and Hostelling International NI. Northern Ireland’s troubled reputation has not put them off and despite some having experienced sectarian incidents and all of them perplexed by the idea of ‘peace walls’ they said they have been made welcome – particularly by their contemporaries - and are determined to throw themselves into life ‘chez nous’. Soumaya Kehili from France, who is working with Womens’ Aid, said: “I am doing rewarding work mainly with children. I feel I am learning so much. I came from a background working in tourism but would now consider retraining. Womens’ Aid are doing a great job and providing a valuable service to women and children.” Maria Gonzalez from Spain said she loved her experience of volunteering with Hostelling International NI so much that she has decided to stay on in Northern Ireland. “I didn’t really know about the Troubles before I came”, she said. “Since I came here I have got to love this country and I’m going to stay. Her favourite hostel is White Park Bay on the North Antrim Coast. Further along the Antrim Coast you may find Ulster Wildlife volunteers Ezechiele Squarina, Julia Wilutzky, Sofia Goncalves and Ramon Arribas working in Glenarm Forest. Other days they are in the bogs – Bog Meadows, Belfast and Ballynahone Bog in Magherafelt in Co Derry that is. Polish volunteer Natazza Wdowicke, who works on Volunteer Now’s Timebank project with Stephanie Painchault from France, said: “Volunteering is not as advanced in Poland and I would like to work in this field in the future. I’m involved in outreach and engagement work on the Timebank project.” Stephanie, who is working on communication and social media for the project, added: “Timebanking is helping to build communities, it is not a type of currency – it is exchanging for a social good.” So what about the food here? Comments included “Food is really unhealthy here” and “The fish and chips are covered in oil”. But on the flip side they seem to like Northern Ireland – whether it is the scenery or the camaraderie of the local young people – the European volunteers feel at home and are making a difference.

Bryson Charitable Group EVS officer Mary Hegarty, sixth left

‘Local young people By Mary Hegarty “When someone gets to work with volunteers in any capacity it’s pretty good, but when it’s working with young volunteers from across Europe, it’s really pretty special. Not that I don’t have my bad days (believe me, after 16 years I’ve had a few crises to deal with and got to know our health system pretty well), but seeing the difference a year of international volunteering can make to a

young person is a I work within Service, a fantast Commission prog 18-30 year olds t European countr monetary cost to It’s part of th Programme, whi funding program ing, youth and sp I’m an EVS O ble Group and I’m delighted and am

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rn Ireland, if not the food

, and VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy, far right, with a group of the European volunteers

Image: Kevin Cooper

need to look at this great opportunity’

a real privilege. n European Voluntary tic European gramme which enables to volunteer in another ry, at virtually no o the volunteer. he Erasmus + ich is the new EU mme for education, trainport. Officer in Bryson Charitam constantly mazed at how many

young Europeans want to come to Northern Ireland. What is also surprising, however, is how few local young people take up this great opportunity. Those who have are our best advocates and can bear witness to the impact the programme can have – EVS has led to changes in career aspirations, the desire to go on to further education, discovery of new talents and interests, multilingualism, development of self-confidence and self-esteem, meeting of future spouses and, perhaps most crucially of all for us here in NI, the

discovery that there’s a whole lot more to the world than our little land. There are great opportunities through EVS for local young people. There’s some information on EVS at the following sites or contact me at • • • •

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An acrobatic performance at a recent WOMAD Belfast Beyond Skin cultural event at the Skainos centre in east Belfast

Pretty ‘n’ Pink founder mourned by colleagues A WOMAN who raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity after being diagnosed with breast cancer has died. Thirty-five-year old Noleen Adair from Belfast had battled the disease since the age of 22. Despite being seriously ill for a decade, Noleen worked tirelessly for women with breast cancer with the Pretty 'n' Pink charity. After launching the charity in 2006 she inspired and encouraged people to get involved in hundreds of events across Northern Ireland. The aim of Pretty 'n' Pink is to create awareness of breast cancer here, especially in young women. It also provides funds for patients who do not meet the criteria for any other public or charitable funding. This involves not only organising fundraising

Tributes: Noleen Adair events, but also giving out individual grants that go towards things like heating oil and childcare. A spokesperson for Pretty ‘n’ Pink said: “It is with the deepest sadness that we have to report that our much loved, brave,

inspirational and respected founder Noleen Adair passed away in the early hours of Thursday morning, June 26, after a long battle with breast cancer. “Not only was Noleen the charity founder and our colleague, but she was also our friend, mentor, and an inspiration to us and others. Our thoughts are with her family at this time. Her memory will live on through the charity that she founded.” Announcing news of her death her husband Gavin said she died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by her family. He said: “Noleen meant something different to all of us – to me she was my wife and my best friend – to you she may have been your relative, your friend, a fellow cancer sufferer or a work colleague, but to all of us she was one thing above all others – an inspiration.”

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Stairway to art, jazz and hip hop A

new community art group is beckoning prospective artists to exhibit their work in Belfast. Frankie Devlin, artistic director of the fledging art collective Contemporary Sketchpad, described it as an “alternative platform for creativity.” “We want it to become one of the most expressive and ground-breaking nights the city has to offer not just for art but music as well.” Founded by the young artist less than two months ago, Sketchpad has already hosted two nights offering a varied array of work from within the community and further afield. For any culture vultures circling near Queen Street art galleries, Contemporary Sketchpad serves up a low-key evening of high culture and is situated in the appropriately elevated setting of Studio Eleven, College Court. On behalf of VIEWdigital, I attended the most recent exhibition held there on June 13. On first entering the space, one notices two things, the first being the elevator you have to forgo to arrive and the second is the cool aura evoked by the minimalist interior. Around the exterior, art pieces hung from water pipes while ceramic organs decorated the podiums in the centre of the room. The atmosphere was cool and increasingly casual as the accompanying musicians and DJs switched between a medley of jazz, hip hop, deep house and surf rock. This cultural crescendo continued to rise, stretching long in to the night and whilst the organisers’ plans for the future are ambitious their Gonzo spirit is determined the wave won’t break here and that’s not the only watermark yet to have transpired, as, so far, the evening is free of charge.

VIEWdigital presents Co Report/camera/editing –

VIEW, issue 26, 2014


ontemporary Sketchpad – Joseph Pelan

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VIEW, issue 26, 2014


The Big Picture 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 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

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Tony Kennedy, Director of the John Hewitt Society, left, with Gerry White, general manager of the John Hewitt bar in Belfast, at the launch of the John Hewitt International Summer School programme. The summer school will run from Monday, July 28, to Friday, August 1, at the Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh Image: Kevin Cooper

• Community and voluntary organisations can reduce energy bills and can be eligible for a grant for cost of equipment. • AFFINITY LINKS will carry out an energy audit FREE OF CHARGE, make recommendations to reduce your costs and cut carbon emissions, look for grants or zero percent loans to cover costs and install and maintain all fittings. • When energy consumption is reduced we will secure the best price for electric and gas on a fixed rate for one, two or three years where possible, we look after the full procurement process once we have secured the best rates and we look to secure rebates where due. • We look after ALL your energy needs year after year ensuring you are always on the best rates so your organisation is always in the best position to save money going forward. • For more information contact

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VIEW Issuu 26, 2014  

Community/voluntary publication for Northern Ireland

VIEW Issuu 26, 2014  

Community/voluntary publication for Northern Ireland