The Rainbow Project's Board of Trustees is responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the The Rainbow Project. They meet regularly during the year to consider, determine and review The Rainbow Project's strategies, operations, finances, and to receive reports from senior managers. They work for The Rainbow Project  in a voluntary capacity. Our Trustees come from a range of backgrounds and with a range of skill-sets which compliment the work of The Rainbow Project. Meet them below.

Duane Farrell: Chair

Duane Farrell is Director of Policy for Age NI since the organisation was established in 2009. Previously, he was Head of Policy, Research and Communications for Help the Aged in Northern Ireland. Duane has been involved in LGBT issues since his time in college. He spent two years as the LGB Rights Officer of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) where he was involved in training Student Union Officers and LGBT students, and running national campaigns on Homophobia and fighting the ban on gay men donating blood . He moved to Belfast in 1998 to work with The Rainbow Project as Rural Project Worker where he was responsible for service provision and volunteer support in the North West as well as the development of the ‘Homophobic Bullying Shatters Lives’ campaign. He also worked as the Manager of The Rainbow Project. He has been involved as both a staff member and a volunteer. Duane also sings with Quire, Belfast’s LGBT singers.

 

Gareth Johnston: Chair Elect

Gareth Johnston was co-opted to The Rainbow Project Board in April 2011. He is a civil servant by profession, and has worked across a range of policy and legal areas, in HR and as chief executive of a service delivery agency. Gareth was vice-chair of a housing association and has also been involved in community development and overseas aid. Gareth is currently engaged in work to encourage the churches to be more inclusive and welcoming of LGBT people.

 

Margaret Peacock: Trustee

Margaret is currently director of Fibromyalgia Support NI. She has been active within the LGB&/T community since the 1970's. Margaret was the founder member of Cara-Friend when it first established in the early 1970's. She worked alongside Jeff Dudgeon and Doug Soby in the Coleraine office of Cara-Friend. Presently she is coordinator of the Twi-Lite Club which is a group for LGB&/T people.

Gillian Condell: Trustee

Gillian was a co-founder of Causeway LGBT Network and previously worked for LASI (HERe NI) as administrator.  During her time with LASI Gillian worked closely with The Rainbow Project and has also been co-chair of NIPB LGBT reference group. She is a passionate campaigner for rural LGBT people and issues and campaigns to highlight the inequalities and additional barriers faced by this group. Gillian has over 25 years’ experience volunteering with various NI based charitable and community organisations, through which has gained valuable skills.

 

Frank Toner: Trustee

Frank has been associated with The Rainbow Project since 1997 including serving a six year period as organizational Chair.  His long term and highly involved commitment with the organization reflects his passion to support Northern Ireland’s LGBT community.  He has driven innovative sexual health campaigns for gay and bisexual men, including Northern Ireland’s first community based (safer sex) outreach program.  Frank established the first co-cultural counselling service in the Island of Ireland, with The Rainbow Project’s counselling service.  He established this exemplar service within an environment of hostile homophobia, and grew its success by ensuring professional ethical governance, delivering clinical excellence standards that promote community well-being and proven client improvements.

 

Kellie Turtle: Trustee

Kellie Turtle is one of the founding members of Belfast Feminist Network, a grassroots activist network that intends to create space for all those who are passionate about addressing the inequality and injustice still experienced by women today. Kellie is currently the Education Worker at the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and previously worked in training and outreach at ChildLine/NSPCC. She also spent 3 years as a community youth worker in Mornington Community Project. Kellie is a feminist blogger and has written for Women’s News, The F Word.co.uk, and edited her own blog on local feminist issues called ‘soisaystoher’.

 

Jen Ashton: Board Member

Jen is currently the Senior Programme Manager for Springboard Opportunities Ltd responsible for the development, design, service delivery and management of capacity building programmes for NEET young people. Originally from Sheffield, Jen came to Northern Ireland in 1999 and volunteered with The Corrymeela Community in Ballycastle before moving to Belfast in 2000. With over 17 years involvement in the voluntary sector Jen has gained significant experience from working with a number of organisations including Community Relations In Schools, Include Youth and Niacro as well as consultancy work for the British Council. Jen is also heavily involved in awareness raising and campaigning for the Peaceday campaign.

 

Kate Laverty: Treasurer

Kate has worked in the field of Community Mental Health for over 8 years.  Prior to this she was a Community Development Worker.  She has extensive experience in global Community Development and has spent time setting up cooperatives in Romania, building homes in South Africa and El Salvador.  She taught in Australia and initiating employment schemes for disabled people in India.

 

Kim Walsh: Trustee

Kim currently works as a Community Planning officer in local government. Prior to moving to Belfast in 2011, she worked in Wales within local government, the community and voluntary and academic sectors, and has significant senior management experience in community development and regeneration, as well as having been Director of a specialist advice charity.  Kim is a Christian and is keen to support and encourage churches to become more understanding, welcoming & inclusive of LGBT people.

 

Trevor Wright: Trustee

Trevor has worked in the voluntary and community sector for over 25 years in a number of roles and at various levels. Core skills include learning and development; adult learning; HR/people management and development; project initiation, implementation and management; quality and improvement including external accreditation; facilities management including health and safety; organisational risk and internal audit; grant funding and distribution; financial management; outcomes/impact measurement and evaluation; organisational and charitable governance; strategic planning and implementation; and marketing and communications.

Trevor has volunteered in a number of roles including as a Trustee most recently with Social Economy Network NI where he provided input to the Marketing and Communications sub-group and chaired the Social Economy Enterprise Procurement Group; and currently with TRP were he provides input to the Governance and Assurance Sub-group, and the Sustainability Sub-group.

For more information on the responsibilities of Trustees check out the Charity Commission for Northern Irelands website here.