Tuesday 5 February – I was very pleased to speak at the Action for Children ‘Build Sound Minds’ event at Parliament Buildings. I discussed the NICCY ‘Still Waiting’ report and findings, outlining the important role of the voluntary and community sectors and their link to statutory services.
Thursday 7 February – I was delighted to join my friends at the Women’s Aid Federation and launch their ‘See, Hear, Act’ conference. It proved a valuable toolkit for what NICCY can do to ensure the safety of children and young people caught up in domestic violence, and to help them to thrive.
Thursday 7 February – I also met with the president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Professor Russell Viner, and local RCPCH reps. A swift but fruitful discussion on a broad range of topics concerning children and young people’s health was enjoyed.
Monday 11 February – I enjoyed a really good meeting at Lakewood Regional Secure Care Centre in Bangor. It marks the beginning of a longer conversation around young people’s care and I was delighted with the information provided and the questions raised. I look forward to reporting back to them.
Tuesday 12 February – I enjoyed a very warm welcome at Clare Primary School in Craigavon. I met with pupils and shared the story of the Commissioner’s Cape with them.
Wednesday 13 February – I was very pleased to host the quarterly British and Irish Network of Ombudsman and Children’s Commissioners (BINOCC) meeting, and also welcomed the Commissioner from Australia as part of her visit. We enjoyed a very productive and informative meeting with Mencap NI in the morning. We discussed a range of issues and best practice including Universal Credit, education, Brexit and Universal Children’s Day.
Thursday 14 February – I was delighted to visit St. Joseph’s Primary School in Carryduff, and had the opportunity to meet almost every pupil. We discussed a range of concerns including environmental issues, road safety, activities in the community and the Transfer Test. I will be liaising with the relevant authorities on some issues raised, and following up with the school. I also look forward to seeing St. Joseph’s progress towards achieving their silver UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools award.
Tuesday 22 January – I was delighted to attend Ashgrove Primary School in Newtownabbey. The school have received their gold UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award and held an assembly to present the children with the award and to celebrate this wonderful achievement. It was great to meet and speak to primary 1-6 pupils about their rights and listen about some the issues that affect them. I also had coffee and biscuits with the School Council afterwards.
Wednesday 23 January – I was pleased to attend the ‘The Dragon from the Lagan’ programme and book launch at the SSE Arena. The programme, co-designed by W5 and Sure Start, hopes to encourage children into STEM subjects.
Thursday 24 January – I was very pleased to respond to the 2017 ‘State of Child Health’ report from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at Parliament Buildings. I outlined NICCY’s position on a range of topics, including Child Death Overview Panels and children and young people’s mental health.
Wednesday 30 January – I enjoyed a very useful meeting with Sir John Gillen, and covered a broad range of topics including our upcoming event looking at the justice system for child victims of sexual offences.