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.

 

Gareth Johnston: Chairperson

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.

 

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: Treasurer

Jen was co-opted to The Rainbow Project Board in September 2012 and currently works as a Health and Well-being Programmes Officer for the Victims and Survivors Service. Jen also carries out consultancy work relating to grant assessments for Erasmus+ and Children in Need.  With over 18 years involvement in the voluntary and community in a number of roles and at various levels, Jen has gained significant management experience and worked with organisations including Springboard Opportunities, Community Relations In Schools, The Corrymeela Community, Include Youth, Niacro and Prison Arts Foundation. Jen was 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.

Ciaran is a Solicitor Advocate conducting human rights litigation in Northern Ireland and is a leading voice on equality issues. He is also regularly instructed in criminal and family law matters.

He has represented clients in a broad range of judicial reviews and civil actions which have challenged and successfully changed the law in Northern Ireland as it relates to underrepresented and overlooked communities. He is currently representing one of the couples challenging the ban on same-sex marriage in the Court of Appeal. He led the successful judicial review protecting transgender privacy rights and is instructed in the ongoing proceedings to overturn the ban on paying sex-workers which has put women at risk. He recently helped secure the right of humanist couples to marry in Northern Ireland and as a member of the UK LGBT Family Law Institute has worked to make fertility treatments more accessible. Ciaran lectures in administrative/ public law at Ulster University and is a founding partner of McLernon Moynagh Solicitors based in Belfast and Holywood.

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