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Social Affairs magazine for community/voluntary sector Website:


Issue 24, 2014

It almost makes me cry, that at the age of 26 you are an alcoholic. You have a whole life ahead of you – if you get the help you need

Read VIEW’s exclusive story on pages 4-5 about the need for a purpose-built centre to help women suffering from alcohol problems


VIEW, issue 24, 2014

Football plea


Protecting data


Page 6 A football team has appealed for help in order to take part in this year’s Homeless World Cup.

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Page 13 We need to ensure data protection, says Dennis Hamill, from Edwards and Co solicitors

Many thanks


Pages 8 A big thank-you to all volunteers in Northern Ireland will be made at the launch of Volunteers’ Week, later this year

Pages 14-19 A selection of images which offers a taste of the ‘Quiet Peacemakers’ exhibition by artist and musician Susan Hughes, left


Oxfam backed

Page 10 Joanne McDowell, above, the Big Lottery’s Fund director for NI, poses a question about the challenges that lie ahead

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 22 Learning disability charity Mencap have launched their annual race day at Down Royal on June 20 to raise funds


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


ome stories raise there head in the Press and then quickly fade away. One such story was about a young woman called Eimear Symington who left a restaurant in Belfast without paying her bill and was sentenced to a month in prison. The unusual aspect of this case was the fact that Ms Symington admitted the fact that she was an alcoholic and, hoped that by asking to go to jail she would receive treatment for her condition while in custody. The judge told the 26year-old, with an address in Belfast, her confession to being an alcoholic “almost makes me cry”. Judge Bernadette Kelly

VIEW editor Brian Pelan said: “I don't know where to start, especially with someone like you – quite clearly bright, well-educated and with so much potential. “You are telling me, and I have to say that almost makes me cry, that at the ripe old age of 26 you are an alcoholic.

“Even at 26 you still have a whole life ahead of you if you get the help you need.” Fionnuala Kennedy, who works for the Kabosh Theatre Company, was so appalled at the story of Eimear that she asked VIEW could she write an article about it. Fionnuala was concerned that Eimear would not receive the treatment she needs in prison. As part of her research into this, Fionnuala highlights the fact that in Northern Ireland there is no dedicated women-only facility for female alcoholics. VIEW hopes that by publishing her story on pages four and five we can start a debate on the urgent need to build such a facility.

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Zoe Anderson – Communications Manager for Start360

When I was ten, I appeared on TV on a show called Roland Rat’s Rat Race

1. What is your position and how long have you worked there? I am Communications Manager at Start360 – the new name for Opportunity Youth – and have been here since April 2013. 2. Your favourite film? It’s a tie between Apocalypse Now and The Lost Boys. 3.Your favourite book or author? My degree was in American Studies at QUB and I spent a term studying the work of William Faulkner – he remains one of my favourite authors to this day. More recently, I love Barbara Kingsolver and would recommend all of her books, particularly The Poisonwood Bible. 4.Five ideal guests for a dinner party -alive or deceased? I am a bit of a bird nerd so my first three places are easily filled by Chris Packham, Martin Hughes-Games and Michaela Strachan from Springwatch. Then I’d add in former F1 driver Mark Webber and former

US president Bill Clinton. 5. Favourite holiday location and why? Southern Italy – great weather, amazing food, incredible scenery. My sister and her family live there, in a little village in Calabria. 6. Most embarrassing moment. I’ve never revealed this publicly but when I was ten, I appeared on TV on a show called Roland Rat’s Rat Race. Only those of a certain generation will remember it. 7. What expression do you use more than most? ‘I know, I know’ which I regularly say in reply to the miaows of my four cats... even though I know that makes me sound like a crazy cat lady! 8. Who has been your biggest inspiration to date? Racing driver and athlete Alex Zanardi. He lost both his legs in a horrendous accident

in 2001 but went on to win races in the World Touring Car Championship in a specially adapted car and won two gold medals and one silver medal in handcycling at the London 2012 Paralympics. 9. Pet hate? Earphone leakage, particularly when I’m on the train – it’s never music I’d choose to listen to myself and people have no idea of the damage they’re doing to their hearing. 10. Favourite TV show? A hard question. I am torn between Boardwalk Empire and Homeland. 11. Your ideal job? I’d like to run my own restaurant/ food shop/ book shop/ organic fruit and veg business. I don’t look for much. 12. Tell us a joke? What did the man say when he came across three holes in the ground? Well well well.

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Is jail the answer for women with alcohol problems? In the wake of a judge sending a 26-year-old to prison, Fionnuala Kennedy says there is an urgent need for a new female-only facility to treat those suffering from alcoholism


n March 24 this year, 26year-old Eimear Symington was given a month in prison for leaving a Belfast restaurant without paying her £37.90 bill. Her lawyer advised that instead of paying the money, she was seeking imprisonment because she was an alcoholic and thought it might help her dry out. Judge Bernadette Kelly said: “I don't know where to start, especially with someone like you – quite clearly bright, well-educated and with so much potential. You are telling me, and I have to say that almost makes me cry, that at the ripe old age of 26 you are an alcoholic. Even at 26 you still have a whole life ahead of you if you get the help you need.” What ‘help’ is on offer for Eimear Symington, a young girl who chooses prison as her only possible step towards recovery? There is a common belief that prison regimes include rigorous addiction programmes for prisoners abusing drugs and/or alcohol. Ash House is Northern Ireland’s only female prison, located in one of the units at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre. In his 2013 inspection of the women’s prison, the Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice Brendan McGuigan said: “It is wrong to run a female prison at the margins of an overwhelmingly male establishment.” His report demonstrates the effects of this – not only do the women experience intimidation from male prisoners, and are “needlessly strip searched on arrival and randomly after

visits”, treatment for substance abuse is “not based on a local analysis of needs”, and substance misuse services are “worse for women than male prisoners held at this site.” While it is wrong to ignore the fact that prisoners have committed a crime, it

‘Many of the ex-prisoners emerge broken and degraded’ is also wrong to ignore the fact that a humiliating and substandard service offered to female prisoners increases the chances of reoffending and reduces the chances of recovery. Many former prisoners emerge broken and degraded. During my research into addiction services in Northern Ireland, I spoke to a friend who was dependent on alcohol. After admitting this to his GP he was referred to Addiction NI. He waited approximately six weeks and was offered a 12-session counselling service. At his first session, he admitted he was sofa-surfing and had nowhere to live. His counsellor immediately put him in touch with a hostel in Belfast, which he moved into that same day. His counselling sessions delved into experiences in his childhood that may have led to his alcohol misuse. Following his treatment with Addiction NI, he states that, although still

drinking, he is no longer dependent on alcohol to “get him through the day”. Other services that may be more well-known are Carlisle House in Belfast (offering a six-week residential programme) and Cuan Mhaire in Newry (offering a 12-week residential programme). Access to these services is through self-referral, referral through GPs or related services. If you have access to the internet, access to a phone, access to your GP/healthcare, you may apply for these programmes. The waiting lists are up to 12 weeks, a long time to wait if you’re at rock bottom. Aftercare is available following both programmes but is limited in sessions and significantly less intensive than the resident treatment programmes. Charlie McGarry is manager of Rosemount House in Belfast, a facility providing sheltered and supported accommodation for men seeking recovery from alcohol addiction. Rosemount House holds 20 ensuite rooms and often takes referrals from the aforementioned organisations. They run an 18-month to two-year programme for residents, aged between 18 and 80. With a dedicated staff team of 12 supported by volunteers in various capacities, the men have a timetable of activities that not only includes counselling for addiction, but provides health care, reflexology, personal development, life skills and more. The place is set up to be a home from home for these men, with the staff in place to serve their needs. Charlie’s emphasis on the importance of ensuite rooms reflects the effort to ensure the men have independence and

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As a society we are in denial or have a lack of understanding of the problems facing women comfort to aid their recovery. Some staff members are recovering alcoholics which Charlie sees as crucial in understanding the needs of each man. “I’m not an alcoholic, I have no idea what pain these men are going through.” He also recognises that each resident has different needs and therefore programmes are tailored for them. Men are welcome to return to Rosemount House following their programme, and many come back for tea, dinner or a chat. When I bring up the case of Eimear Symington, Charlie replies “wee Eimear” He had met Symington on previous occasions as on his weekends, Charlie visits “street drinkers”, offering help, advice, clothing, even a packet of cigarettes. He believes there needs to be a dedicated facility for women only and has drawn up a business plan for one reflecting the ethos and practise of Rosemount House. He is quick to say that it won’t be exactly the same, because he recognises that women have different needs. Whilst all rooms will have an ensuite, he wants two specialised rooms for women with children, so children can stay over at times with their mother. They have two buildings that are ready to be renovated for this purpose. As in many cases, addiction can lead to

homelessness so the green light is needed from the NI Housing Executive. Rosemount House is ‘specialist accommodation’. When he approached them, Charlie was told that there is no clear evidence of need. “I can go out

‘I can go out tomorrow and get 10 to 12 women to fill it’ tomorrow and get 10 to 12 women to fill that place,” Charlie says. “Why is this not evidence of need?” Charlie believes it’s the shame and stigma of it. It is a difficult thing for a woman to admit, especially if she has children. I’m curious as to how this required evidence of need is measured. When I searched for similar accommodation, there is none like Rosemount House. All hostels appear to be for men and women, or men only. There are a large number of womenonly hostels for victims of domestic violence, and rightly so. There is one crisis

hostel for single women sleeping rough. Charlie touches upon the dangers of a mixed-sex hostel environment for women with substance abuse problems. He stipulates they can be detrimental to a women’s mental health as well as her chances of recovery. There is no doubt in Charlie’s mind that specialist services for women with addictions are crucial and urgent. Can it be that there is no need? Do we have to reassess how we quantify need? Or does the need have to be so great, that a centre is created and then a waiting list ensues? Through my research it is clear to me that the need is there and that as a society we are in denial or have a lack of understanding of the problems facing our women. During a tour of Crumlin Road Gaol last year, our guide told us that in researching the history of the prison, she discovered that in the late 1800s, more women were jailed for being drunk and disorderly than men. She suspected it was because of society’s view of women at the time – women were not allowed or indeed expected to behave in such a manner. In 2014, I suspect this view remains. I only wonder what awaits Eimear on her release.

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Organiser Justin McMinn said it has been an uphill struggle raising funds to allow the footballers, some who are homeless and have overcome addiction problems, to make the trip to South America

Call to support Northern Ireland team in the Homeless World Cup By Una Murphy


FOOTBALL team from Northern Ireland has appealed for help to take part in the Homeless World Cup in Chile later this year. It will be second time the Street League squad has competed in an international tournament. Last year the football team took part in the Homeless World Cup in Poland. Organiser Justin McMinn said it has been an uphill struggle raising funds to allow the footballers, some who are homeless and have overcome addiction problems, to make the trip to South America. He said the team had learnt a lot for taking part in the last World Cup in Poland. “Since it’s Chile, it’s a lot more expensive for flights and things like that. We’ve been visiting different people,

different groups. It’s hard to get an answer. It’s hard for people to say yes we’ll fund that. So, we’re at looking at different funders to see if they could fund one flight or two flights and a cocktail type funding, were everyone puts a bit in, hopefully it can work that way, but it is difficult”, he said. “We learnt a lot in Poland especially with the football, it was a different pitch over there, it’s four-a-side and just getting used to the rules, it took us a bit longer. “We had an amazing experience and we didn’t really have many problems over there. So we just hope that Chile will be the same. “The guys all said it was the best time of their life. We know the guys going to Chile are really going to enjoy it as well. Just hopefully, it will be as successful as Poland “Success will just be to keep the unity

of the team and to make sure we obey all the rules that they give us. “Obviously no drink or drugs, hopefully the guys can keep those rules. Last year when we went, we were one of the only teams that didn’t receive a yellow card from the referee for bad behaviour, that was pretty successful, I didn’t think that would happen. Also if we finish below 13th like we did last year, that will be a real success.” • If VIEW readers want to help the Northern Ireland squad compete in the Homeless World Cup they should text: NISL14 £1 to 70070 to donate or visit the nistreetleague page on JustGiving • Check out our video at -soccer-league/

YOUR VOICE OUR VISION How can Big Lottery Fund best help communities and people in need? Shape our future vision.


Our mission is to bring real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need.

VIBRANT COMMUNITIES How can we grow social capital and help communities to make the most of their strengths and talents?

Join the conversation Online:


We have awarded funds to many outstanding projects all over the UK who have made a fantastic difference. But we can always do more.

What can we do to support people living in poverty to achieve a better quality of life? How do we address increasing demand for help in difficult times?

From February to July 2014, we are inviting people to add their voice to a UK wide conversation around key areas of Big Lottery Fund’s work. Your views will help us consider our role as a funder and help shape our vision and plans from 2015 to 2021.

Tell us how we can best work with others to make a difference. How can we share our information, learning and resources for the benefit of others?

Most importantly it will help us deliver the things we passionately believe in:

What do you think?


@biglfyourvoice #yourvoice Email: In writing: Freepost RRKC-ZJKL-BYTE Your Voice Our Vision Big Lottery Fund 1 Plough Place London EC4A 1DE

STRONGER SECTOR How can we best support the development of a stronger voluntary, community and social enterprise sector?

Find out more and keep up to date:

VIEW, issue 24, 2014


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Members of UNISON NI’s Community/Voluntary branch at the May Day rally in Derry. The main theme of the event was to campaign in support of the Housing Executive which is is facing an uncertain future

Week of celebration will say thanks to volunteers


olunteer involving organisations are invited to order FREE resources to help them recognise and thank the volunteers in their community as part of Volunteers’ Week from June 1 to June 7 During the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Volunteers’ Week, a range of activities are planned to highlight the campaign. Wendy Osborne, Chief Executive,Volunteer Now, said, ”The message for Volunteers’ Week is ‘Time to say thank you.’ There are currently over a quarter of a million volunteers in Northern Ireland who all play a vital role; from volunteer drivers to sports coaches, from hospital volunteers to those working in charity shops. “Volunteers’ Week gives us the opportunity to shine the spotlight on these volunteers and give them the recognition and thanks they deserve.” She added: “We hope voluntary and community groups throughout Northern Ireland will order the special volunteer pins, certificates and banners to support their participation in Volunteers’ Week ” Volunteer involving organisations can access these resources by downloading the order form from

Appeal: Wendy Osborne or contact: Orders must be placed by May 16 2014.

University event to discuss press regulation PRESS regulation will be the topic of discussion at a meeting organised by the Centre for Media Research and the School for Media Film and Journalism at the University of Ulster. The guest speaker will be Jonathan Heawood, director of the IMPRESS Project. The meeting will be held on May 8 at 5.15pm in the boardroom, Room 82D23, at the University of Ulster campus, York Street, Belfast. IMPRESS, in its own words, is “Developing plans for press regulation which is independent of politicians and press owners, affordable for small publishers and websites and accountable to the public.” John Horgan, the press ombudsman for the Republic of Ireland, who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry about how press regulation works in Ireland, will also attend.

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 24, 2014

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Comment Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund’s Director for Northern Ireland since September 2010. asks how should the Big Lottery Fund change to meet tomorrow’s challenges?

In a world of increasing change, the Big Lottery Fund is canvassing the public’s views on what their priorities should be over the coming years


tanding still in our ever changing world is not an option – and Big Lottery Fund is no different. Looking back at the last 10 or even five years, so much has changed. Did I and others ever think we would be blogging, using smartphones or tweeting? But as we adapt to these changes, we are acutely aware of the enduring problems of poverty and disadvantage, particularly in the context of the upcoming welfare reforms. We are aware too of the challenges we face in delivering our mission of bringing improvements to the lives of people and communities most in need. That is why we are inviting you to share your views on what our priorities should be over the coming years. We are committed to seeking the opinions of people who are most affected

by the inequalities in wealth, health and education, and those who have an interest in tackling the issues that exist within our society. We believe we could be doing more to contribute to and improve the life chances for those most in need. And perhaps at times, we are trying to do too many things at the same time. Is it our role to help people to change things in their community through, for example, a small grant from our Awards for All programme? Or do we have a more strategic role in attempting to address structural inequalities across health, education and community safety through programmes like Live & Learn or Safe & Well? How should we balance immediate needs against longer term support? Could we use our systems, skills, expertise and connections more effectively to bring others to the table?

For instance, should we be influencing change by using our role to broker relationships with government and other funders? Or should we simply be a funder who responds to the needs of the voluntary and community sector? We also want your opinions on whether our approach to building a strong and vibrant sector in Northern Ireland has been successful. How could we improve? We want to start a conversation about change and hear as many viewpoints as possible, so we can be a more effective funder in the future.Y Your voices will help us meet tomorrow’s challenges as we shape our vision for the period 2015-2021. You can join the conversation online at, on Twitter at @biglfyourvoice #yourvoice or email us at

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Should charities in Northern Ireland reveal the salaries of chief executives? A recent report, which covered charities in England and Wales, has called for salaries of chief executives to be published in order to maintain public trust. VIEW would like to know your opinion when it comes to charities in Northern Ireland. What do you think?


harities have been advised, in a recent report by the NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations), to publish full details of senior executives pay in order to maintain public trust. The report, a product of an inquiry into charity chief executive pay, suggests that despite legally having to provide an indication of the number of staff in pay bands over £60,000, charities need to go further to earn the public's trust. The inquiry was set up, following last year's media attention into charity chief executives' pay, to explore arguments about appropriate levels as well as the relationship between this and public trust and confidence in the sector. Denise Fellows, chief executice of the Honorary Treasurers Forum, said: “Following the media attention last year, ensuring best practice on executive pay has been a grey area for some of our members. “Charities have a duty to ensure transparency for the public, donors and beneficiaries, not only for the levels of pay but also for the thinking behind the levels of pay by publishing in annual reports and on their websites.” Julia Palca, chairman at Macmillan Cancer Support, also welcomed the report: “While trust in charities is the highest it has been for the last few years, we welcome this report to help ensure the sector takes the steps necessary to promote transparency. We will review these recommendations in detail.” Some of the key points were; • The 161,000 registered charities in England and Wales have a combined annual income of more than £39b. • 91% of registered charities have no paid staff and are run by volunteers; the remaining 9% employ 800,000 people. .• Two clicks away – to make this information accessible, and not just within their annual accounts, the inquiry suggests that charities display this information online, and no more than two clicks from their homepage.

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The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People Patricia Lewsley, third from left, during a recent visit to the offices of Solas at the Cromac Regeneration Centre, Ormeau Road/Donegall Pass, Belfast. Solas is an educational charity which supports children’s additional needs

Junior Ministers Jennifer McCann, 2nd left, and Jonathan Bell, third left, admire the work of photographer Laurence Gibson at the launch of the ‘Belonging’ exhibition in Shankill Library, Belfast. Photographed along with the ministers are Mr Gibson who talked about his work and Sonia Banaszczyk of the Belfast Migrant Centre. The exhibition, features 20 portraits of individual migrants

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Comment Dennis Hamill is the Litigation Partner at Edwards & Co. solicitors. He provides advice and representation to the firm’s third sector clients across a range of contentious issues.

Why it’s vital to protect data

In simple terms, a data controller must comply with the eight data protection principles


n the modern working environment organisations obtain a huge amount of personal information about people with whom they interact whether they are employees, customers, service users or others. We are frequently asked to advise third sector organisations on what responsibilities this creates specifically in the context of Data Protection issues. The governing piece of legislation in this area is the Data Protection Act 1998 which came into force on 1 March 2000. It provides that data protection law will apply in any situation where a “data controller” processes “personal data”. It is important to define those terms. A “data controller” means a person who determines the purposes for which and the manner in which any personal data is, or is to be, processed. An obvious example is an employer. “Personal data” means data which relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data or from that data and other information held, or likely to come into the possession of the data controller. Again, an obvious example would be an employee. Such a person is known as a “data subject”. “Processing” covers almost any use of

personal data whether it is collecting the data, storing it, or destroying it. It can be seen from this brief introduction that the scope of data protection law is vast. Assuming that your organisation is a data controller as defined by the Act what responsibilities does this create? In simple terms, a data controller must comply with the eight data protection principles as follows:• Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully; • Personal data shall be obtained only for specified and lawful purposes, and shall not be further processed in any manner incompatible with those purposes; • Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive; • Personal information shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; • Personal data shall not be kept for any longer than is necessary; • Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects in accordance with the Act; • Appropriate technical and

organisational measures shall be taken against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of personal data; • Personal data shall not be transferred to a country outside the European Economic Area unless that country ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of data subjects in relation to the processing of personal data. There are a number of steps which organisations can take to ensure compliance with these principles such as obtaining the consent of the data subject. It is vitally important that organisations get this right as there are potential civil and criminal liabilities which arise from breaches of data protection law. This is a brief overview of a very challenging area of law. It is vital that all third sector organisations understand their responsibilities and have appropriate policies and procedures in place to protect not only the organisation but also those persons whose personal data the organisations hold.

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Susan adds another strin to her bow art collect


rtist and musician Susan Hughes has chosen to honour some of the participants in the Northern Ireland peace process in an exhibition, titled ‘Quiet Peacemakers’. In her own words describing why she undertook the project, Susan said: “The IRA ceasefire was announced on August 31, 1995, the day before I started secondary school; I am a child of Northern Irish peace. Growing up at the top of the Ormeau Road with parents of a mixed, cross-border marriage, ecumenism was a given for me and we were not exposed to the brutality and pain of the Troubles. My mother suggested that I continue a series that had begun with a painting of Fr. Gerry Reynolds (a family friend) by painting some of the other individuals who were, and are, continually committed to working quietly and steadily in the background to facilitate peace and reconciliation. As one person led me to another by word of mouth, I found myself on a journey of discovery from the early years of the Troubles right up to the present – and future – of peacemaking. The subjects range from Church leaders such as Fr Alec Reid, Rev. Ken Newell, Sr. Anna and Sr. Margaret Rose of Drumalis; to those currently employed fulltime in community relations for example Chris O’Halloran of Belfast I nterface Project and Debbie Watters of Alternatives for Restorative Justice. I can not claim that this collection is a comprehensive representation; these portraits are a tiny snapshot, an i mpression of the many ‘unknowns.’ For practical reasons I imposed my own reasonable limit of 34 Belfast-based portraits. I undertook this venture to pay homage to the subjects and celebrate them in the best way I know how: through art. VIEW is delighted to show a selection of the paintings from page 15 to page 19

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ng with tion

The late Inez McCormack became active in the Northern Ireland Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s and went onto become the Regional Secretary of UNISON Northern Ireland. In 2006, she founded the Participation and Practice of Rights (PPR) organisation

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Roisin McGlone is the chief executive officer of Interaction Belfast, an organisation that develops both inter-community and inter-agency dialogue and relationship building. Roisin has worked closely with the police and republican and loyalist ex-combatants

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Rob Fairmichael, cyclist, gardener, and bog wood carver, has lived in Belfast since 1975. He has been engaged in peace journalism since 1974, and currently edits publications for INNATE (Irish Network for Nonviolent Action Training and Education)

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After her husband’s death in 1991, Pauline Hegney, along with five other widows who had lost their husbands to violence, and three church leaders, began the organisation Widows Against Violence Empowered (WAVE)

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Debbie Watters lives and works in North Belfast. She has been involved in the areas of justice work, peace building, and conflict transformation for the past 20 years, both in the United States and in Northern Ireland

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The Big Picture One of the first dogs to cross over the new Sam Thompson bridge in Belfast. The bridge, which was named after the playweight who was best known for his play Over the Bridge, which exposes sectarianism, was part funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks programme, 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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Looking forward to a day at the races, PR and fashion guru Cathy Martin joins three-year-old Kinley Brown at Mencap’s Segal House Nursery in Belfast for a playdate to officially launch Mencap’s annual Race Day that will take place at Down Royal on June 20, 2014, to raise funds for the learning disability charity. Tickets are £100 per person and tables seat ten. Larger parties can be catered for. For further details about the event, email

CHECK OUT OUR MASTERCLASSES VIEWdigital holds media training workshops at Cromac Regeneration Initiative (CRI) Belfast For further details, contact Valentina Mango at 07761 486585 or email her at


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Third sector magazine for Northern Ireland