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Solving solar and caring for carers: What's new for our investigative platform?

Noteworthy is working on a several investigations and crowdfunding for new projects on dognapping and eating disorder treatment.

DURING AUGUST, OUR community-led investigative platform, Noteworthy, was working away on several investigations including Selling Our Genes, Spruced Up and Academic Uncertainty

The team published the Caring for Carers investigation into pay and conditions in the home care sector as well as profits made by providers. Last Sunday, they also published the Solving Solar investigation into the key obstacles standing in the way of solar power in Ireland. 

Newly launched for crowdfunding

Our most recently launched proposed project, DOGNAPPED, is tied to the recent surge in dog thefts happening across the country.

If funded, this investigation which was proposed by a supporter on Facebook, will find out if enough is being done to protect our pooches from trafficking by examining policy, law and court records. 

We launched a number of other new proposed investigations recently: 

PEAT’S SAKE: Why have authorities failed to tackle unlicensed industrial peat extraction? We want to investigate the extent of this problem across the country.

CALL TO ACCOUNT: Are phone companies overcharging older people? We hope to examine court and ComReg records as well as protections in place.

SILENT TREATMENT: Are people with eating disorders being failed by the public health system? We want to look into national clinical programme delays.

Caring for carers

Our three-part CARING FOR CARERS investigation by Maria Delaney into the home care sector was published at the start of August.

This was our second investigation to be published as part of our Covid-19 Project to look at the impact of the pandemic and future plans. 

 ‘I am struggling’: Part one highlights how home carers became the forgotten frontline workers of the pandemic with many taking a pay hit.

‘It’s demoralising and makes me want to leave’: Part two investigates how poor pay is impacting home carers and also examines provider profits.

‘It’s dangerous’: Part three reveals Ireland is behind the curve on regulation with no legal requirements for training or registration.

It was worrying. Carers in the community were keeping clients out of hospital but we were forgotten about.

Due to the volume of issues raised by carers about the home care sector when they answered our call-out, we decided to expand the investigation into a three-part series. Our general fund supported this additional work. This also has the option of a monthly subscription.

Solving solar

Our SOLVING SOLAR investigation by Niall Sargent was published on Sunday and examined the key roadblocks that have limited small-scale solar power. Read our full investigation now.

We have to get rid of the mindset that simply because it’s called microgeneration, it can only play a small role. It can play a very big role.

It found that the following unresolved issues have left Ireland facing a ticking clock to meet the upcoming EU deadline:

  • Lack of a direct payment for excess electricity sold back to the grid
  • Outdated regulations that require planning permission for solar panels
  • Delays in the smart meters rollout – critical to measure energy exports
  • Concerns over the impact of small-scale solar on the grid
  • Gaps in smart research – key to future community-led energy system 

Recent opinion pieces

We published a number of opinion pieces over the past month. Dr Krysia Lynch, chair of AIMS Ireland wrote that the National Maternity Strategy recommendations have been watered down or sidelined.

Pregnant people are still essentially faced with the one-size-fits-all package of highly medicalised obstetric-dominated maternity care.

Architect Orla Hegarty wrote that prioritising small housing units on crammed sites leads to risks. While, Irish Seed Savers outlined how support for organic heritage seed is the key to ensuring long-term food security on our island.

Over the past three months, we have put together a mini-series on how people with disabilities have been affected by both the pandemic & a lack of support stretching back far longer than the pandemic. We want to do an in-depth investigation into this, which you can support here.

Our latest article in this series was by Aoife Gaffney of Down Syndrome Ireland on how support is needed to help people with Down syndrome return to work.

Without this, people with Down syndrome will continue to miss out on the social interaction that was absent over the past few months. 

Finally, as schools welcome back pupils after such as long break, Covid-19 measures have been the main topic of discussion. However, other school-related issues haven’t gone away and we want to investigate a number of them.

Related to one such project, Assessing Autism, a concerned mother wrote an op-ed about the impact waiting for an assessment was having on her five-year-old son.

Starting primary school was always going to be difficult but now I am concerned that it will be deeply traumatic and damaging.

Noteworthy numbers

Two investigations were fully funded in August thanks to your amazing support.

Cost of Carbon aims to discover just who are the most serious contributors to Ireland’s carbon emissions problem. Net Loss will find out what impact overfishing has had on the Irish fishing industry and affected wildlife. 

107 - Articles published, funded through proposals or our general fund.
59 - Open proposals compiled from ideas sent to us by the public.
- Proposals on their way to being funded soon: 

  • 70%Shear Force – Unlawful cutting of hedgerows
  • 67% - Dead End - Galway’s planned ring road & traffic congestion
  • 42%Lift Out – Accessibility of public transport
  • 40%Eyes Right – Operation and influence of far right online

We can’t start investigating these issues until they are fully funded so please share with friends and on social media to help support these projects.

What do you think should be investigated? Noteworthy is a community-driven platform & works by investigating issues that you feel need more attention. What are they? Let us know here.

How to help 

You can also help Noteworthy in a few other ways:

  • Fund our Covid-19 project through the general fund.
  • Fund a specific proposal.
  • Share a proposal and tell your family and friends about our work.

To find out how contributions are used, or anything else about how Noteworthy works, click here. You can also sign up to our Insider Newsletter or find us on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email information@noteworthy.ie

Thanks so much for your continued support!

About the author:

Maria Delaney

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