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Influencing Policy

Where we live has a huge impact on our long-term health. Environmental factors such as air quality, lack of green and blue space, congestion to name a few, can contribute to worse health outcomes for residents, especially as they age. Often concentrated in areas of deprivation, these factors can widen health inequalities too. The causes of poor-quality environments such as poor transport infrastructure, absence of trees or quality green space, are also of growing concern in the context of climate change, and addressing the root causes will have benefits across a range of policy areas.

The SPACE project based at Queen's University Belfast will bring together researchers, health professionals, activists, organisations delivering practical solutions, policy makers, advocates and members of the public to better integrate how we can find policy solutions to many of these interconnected problems.  We will hold three workshops in September (13,20,27) at the MAC, Belfast City Centre, to map the system, explore in depth how the issues are being addressed (and how they are not being addressed), and and to identify how to combine forces across agendas and disciplines to deliver successful outcomes for communities, health, ageing, planning and the environment.

This is an invite only event:  to register please refer to the invitation you will  have received via email

  • How are we going to do it?

    We have teamed up with Involve UK to run this multi-stakeholder workshop.  At the workshop we will undertake a participative process to fully explore all the connected parts of this work and how each is impacted by different organisations and policies.  We will then explore what it will take to change outcomes and the different ways that Government and other actors can work together in common cause - where one solution solves other connected issues.  Finally, we will prepare an agreed set of recommendations for how to achieve success in this very important and increasingly urgent issue. 

  • What happens after?
    • The recommendations for action will be turned into a white paper that will be owned by all the stakeholders involved
    • It will set out the roles and responsibilities for different stakeholders
    • All organisations will be invited to use the paper as the basis for action and advocacy in the coming years

     The intention is to use the 'paper' to create momentum and structure for the way forward

  • The Venue

    The venue over the course of the three workshops is the MAC.

    We want everyone to feel comfortable and welcome at the workshops, and that participating is as easy and enjoyable as possible. Below are some of the measures we are taking to make the event accessible. We will also work with individual participants to make further adjustments if needed. The MAC is part of Saint Anne's Square behind St. Anne's Cathedral.

    10 Exchange Street West
    BT1 2NJ

    The main entrance is off the square, but you can also pop in via Exchange Street West.

  • How do I get there?

    The MAC is just a stone's throw from Belfast City Centre and easy to reach, whatever mode of transport you use.

    • Can I park nearby?

    You can park securely at Saint Anne's Square multi-storey car park (and bike park) which is on Edward Street right beside the MAC. The car park is open 24 hours. 

    • Electric Car Charging Ports near the MAC

    The nearest electric car charging ports to the MAC are Little Donegall St and Castle Court Car Park

    • Walking - Cycling - Bus - Train

    For google maps directions click on the relevant icon - HERE

  • Physical access, dietary and personal requirements
    • Physical access

    The MAC is an accessible building. The room where the jury takes place can be accessed by a lift, and there is an accessible toilet on the same floor. There are accessible toilets on each of the 6 floors of the MAC - Please note that the toilets do not contain hoist systems.

    • Hearing

    The room where the jury is taking place does not have a hearing loop. Presenters will use a microphone.

    • Reading

    There may be some reading required at the event, and we will ensure that there are large print options, as well as printing on coloured paper. If we can help to make reading easier for you please let us know 

    • Language

    We have asked those presenting not to use technical language or jargon if they can avoid it. We aim for all the information presented to the panel to be clear and easy to understand for everyone. There will be opportunities to ask speakers to explain what they mean if anything is unclear.

    • Dietary

    We will be providing lunch, and refreshments throughout the day and will note specific dietary requirements 


  • Costs / Re-imbursement
    • Participants representing members of the public will be provided with an expense form at registration on each day of attendance to claim back -  mileage/parking/bus or train fares
    • If childcare or other caring responsibilities present a barrier to taking part, we will do our best to help participants representing members of the public with these costs