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
I know they used to say that a week is a long time in politics - these days an hour can change everything! Well a week is also a very long time when you are working for an exciting new social media platform. Not that it hasn't been highly enjoyable - I am learning so … Continue reading Nextdoor Week One!
I had the honour recently to speak to the closing celebration for the “LEAD the Change” United Youth pilot. This was the combined group that formed out of the closure of Public Achievement and Achieve Enterprises, and was part of the Northern Ireland Executive’s United Youth pilot as part of its Together Building a United … Continue reading Here’s to the Crazy Ones
A lot of people tell me how shocked they were at the sudden closure of Public Achievement and our sister social enterprise - Achieve Enterprises. In many ways no one was more shocked than those of us who worked there. The end came like a tidal wave. For me it has been a bereavement - … Continue reading On the Closure of Public Achievement
It is very difficult to avoid the ‘N’ word. It is written into European and UK policy, and used very widely – including by government agencies, policy makers and even youth workers. Indeed, I’ve even heard young people use the term as a noun to describe themselves. It even sounds horrible and it makes me … Continue reading We Need to Talk About the ‘N’ Word!
It is 25 years - a full generation - since the Berlin Wall came down. It was an incredible moment in the history of Europe and I remember hoping that it wouldn’t be long before our walls came down as well. As we wait to see whether the Northern Ireland political parties can deliver a … Continue reading Keep Them Up or Knock Them Down are Not The Only Options
Alex Kane is a well respected and thoughtful commentator. I enjoy his articles, blogs and tweets (@alexkane221b). However I was very disappointed by his recent Newsletter article on votes at 16. He has challenged young people in our WIMPS (Where Is My Public Servant?) project to a debate on the issue, and personally - I … Continue reading Well Alex, You Might Be Missing the Point!
Two very different articles about young people caught my eye today. One was from an author of Children’s books - Terence Blacker writing in the Independent. The other was a commentary from a chief constable, covered in a story in the Guardian by Alan Travis. You might be intrigued to know this, but I was … Continue reading You Could Take the Blacker View, But I am With Cheer
There are many reasons why the decision of Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson MLA to do a complete u-turn on plans for the development of the site of the former Maze Prison is a set-back for a political process that seems to be in a state of rapid decline - but for me one of … Continue reading Maze Long Kesh – The Loss of a Site of Profound Learning