I am a freelance facilitator specialising in engagement. I can help your organisation to work more effectively with key audiences and I can assist organisations in engaging effectively with young people – including those from tougher social realities. I am happy to work with interesting people on interesting projects in Northern Ireland or around the world. Please contact me below to discuss your needs or ideas.
I am currently working on a number of projects, including working to raise awareness of the impact of paramilitary attacks on young people, and recently wrote an opinion piece on the future of Youth Work in Northern Ireland for the Building Change Trust.
Until December 2016 I was the ‘City Launcher’ for Nextdoor in Northern Ireland. Nextdoor is a new kind of social network based on neighbourhoods. It is private and secure and allows neighbours to connect to build stronger and safer communities. Thanks to my networks, skills and expertise, Nextdoor has grown faster in Belfast than anywhere else in the UK.
I have also been working with some great organisations locally including the Voice of Young People in Care, Community Evaluation Northern Ireland, RNIB Northern Ireland and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy on their programmes in Lebanon and recently finished a piece of work for them in Bahrain. I am also a registered trainer on the SALTO European Trainers list, and a trainer with ECORYS for the Erasmus Plus programme in the UK. I co-designed and led a study visit on youth work and the radicalisation of young people in December 2017.
I am working with others to develop a pilot of Learning Dreams in Northern Ireland – a way of working with parents to improve the learning outcomes of their children, that was developed by Dr Jerome Stein of the University of Minnesota. I am also involved in a number of aspects of the Fresh Start strategy to tackle Paramilitarism here in Northern Ireland.
I am the former CEO of Public Achievement, which for 16 years (until January 2016) was Northern Ireland’s most innovative youth organisation. The organisation won a host of local and international awards, including a Big Society Award from the UK Prime Minister and a Tech for Good Award. Previously I worked for the Youth Council for Northern Ireland, the School of Education in Ulster University, and the Community of the Peace People. One of our best known projects was the WIMPS (Where is My Public Servant?) project which supported young people to address local issues, and to hold those in power to account. Although the WIMPS site is down, you can view our catalogue of films made by young people here. I own the domain rights to WIMPS.tv and I am planning to re-launch the project at some stage. If you’d like to help, please let me know!
The diagram below is the ‘Action Cycle’ – a key component of the Civic Youth Work model developed by Public Achievement and our colleagues at the University of Minnesota Youth Development and Leadership programme.
If you are interested in engaging my services, drop me a line! You can view the latest version of my CV here.