The story of a young man who recently met the 'justice' of a paramilitary 'punishment shooting'. Let’s call him Jacko. He told me he remembers when he was 4 being sent to the shops by his drunken mother and seeing a pile of old wood including a piece with a large nail sticking through … Continue reading He Jumped on It “…to see what it would feel like”
I am delighted to have been awarded a contract by the Building Change Trust to write an opinion piece on the future of youth work here. I say youth work rather than 'The Youth Service' - as I believe the latter should be designed in service of the former. I have been involved in youth … Continue reading Where Now for Youth Work?
If you've been following me, or other youth workers on Twitter and Facebook, then you will know that there has been a funding crisis over the past several months in the sector. This crisis started when the former Education Minister Peter Weir, failed to extend funding known as 'Extended Provision' into another financial year. There … Continue reading It Feels Like Contempt!
The recent resignation of Martin McGuinness as Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister reminded me of this photo and of an extraordinary meeting I had with him, the late Ian Paisley and Miren Azkarate Villar - the former Basque Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport in late 2007. It was toward the end of the 'Bromance' … Continue reading Don’t Forget to Chuckle!
As you may know, one of the campaigns run by young people through Public Achievement's WIMPS project was the 'Stop Attacks' campaign. Young people campaigned to raise the scourge of so-called 'punishment beatings' which were happening in a regular basis in their communities. This is one of the most significant human rights abuses going on … Continue reading Let’s Stop This!
I was more than a little surprised to find out that I had been mentioned in the Belfast Newsletter today - in an article that seems aimed at damaging the reputation of the Northern Ireland Assembly Speaker, Robin Newton MLA. I had always assumed that if you were to be mentioned in a Newspaper article … Continue reading Responding to the Newsletter article, 29 November 2016
Many of you will know that since the summer I have been working for the neighbourhood based social network 'Nextdoor'. The invitation to work for them came at an opportune time for me as I continue to adjust to life post Public Achievement. This week I am talking about Nextdoor as part of Belfast Design … Continue reading Why Nextdoor is the Right Social Network for Belfast