About The Social Issue

The Social Issue is a blog run by social affairs journalist and commissioning editor Saba Salman (click here for a Linkedin profile). It’s a place where you can read and write about people, places and projects making a difference, a platform for stories and ideas that inform and spark discussion… community projects, social enterprises, charities, national and local government, social care, housing, families, older people, and health. If your work helps tackle challenging issues – from homelessness to health, disability to drugs, work to welfare – and makes a difference to lives amid unprecedented cuts to government funding, we’d like to hear about it.

The Social Issue features perspectives on what works (or doesn’t) in social and public policy as well as practitioners who describe their innovative schemes and people who use support services, or their families. Read this page to see how to get involved with The Social Issue and contribute a story idea or write a guest blogpost.

The site is part of Guardian Select, the paper’s editorially approved network of blogs and websites. As well as meriting the occasional nod in the paper’s SocietyDaily e-briefing, The Social Issue was picked in late 2011 as among the best of the web by the Guardian’s online professional networks for housing and local government.

Read this first post for an explanation of the ideas and aims behind the site.

Who blogs here regularly?
This blog is run by social affairs journalist, commissioning editor and Guardian contributor Saba Salman. Saba was news editor at a series of London weekly newspapers and a reporter on the nationals before becoming the Evening Standard’s local government and social affairs correspondent. She has written for consumer magazines like Marie Claire and Cosmo as well as for trade magazines and was the assistant editor of Housing Today.

For Guardian articles click here, for other newspaper and magazine news and features, try here. Saba has a particular interest in disability issues (she edited a blog for leading social care learning disability organisation the VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) for three years). Read about the reasons behind the Social Issue blog here or check this page.

Saba lives with her young family in Surrey where the cosmopolitan community includes Mohammed Al Fayed and Bucks Fizz singer Jay Aston, disproving the assumption that cities alone are social and cultural melting pots. ‘Saba’ means seven in Swahili, morning breeze in Arabic, is a type of Japanese mackerel and the acronym of the Syracuse Area Bellydancers Association. Follow Saba and The Social Issue on Twitter (bellydancers and sushi-fans might be disappointed).

Lol Butterfield is a qualified mental health nurse and campaigner. Lol has worked in mental health services as a clinician for over 30 years; over the last few years he has become more involved with working towards eliminating the stigma and discrimination of mental health. Lol has also acted as an advisor for the Time to Change national anti-stigma campaign in the north east of England where he lives. Lol’s media work to challenge the many misperceptions and negative stereotyping of mental health includes television and radio appearances and newspaper articles. His autobiography, Sticks and Stones, includes his childhood experience of stigma as a consequence of his father’s mental health issues. You can follow Lol on Twitter.