Staff Profiles The Rainbow Project’s staff team are responsible for the operational delivery of the The Rainbow Projects services and advocacy work. Our dedicated team work hard to meet the needs of LGB&/T people and their families in Northern Ireland. Meet the team below. John O’Doherty: Director I am responsible for staff management, fundraising, policy development, day-to-day management and assisting the Board in strategic development. I previously worked as The Rainbow Project’s Equality Officer and I am still involved in a number of LGBT groups including the Love Equality campaign for equal marriage in Northern Ireland. Before joining The Rainbow Project in 2008 I worked for a Political Party. I live in Belfast with my partner and our two dogs Saffie and Sherlock and our cat Harvey. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, movies, singing and dancing. Nuala Devenny: Health and Well-being Manager My name is Nuala and I am the Health and Well-being Manager with the Rainbow Project. I am responsible for supporting the services team which has a wide variety of services, such as; sexual health, Family Support, Rural Support, LGBT Peer & Social Support Groups, Befriending, delivery of Workshops and Personal Development Programmes. I also co-ordinate the Smoking Cessation Service. I have a background in Youth Work and Community Development. I live in rural County Down with my Wife, our dog Reilly and our three cats Lala, O'Toodles and Koda. In my spare time I like to watch football and other sports and I love reading and socialising with my family and friends. Gavin Boyd: Policy and Advocacy Manager I’m Gavin and I am the Policy and Advocacy Manager at The Rainbow Project. I lead the Policy and Advocacy Team which works across a wide policy spectrum, representing the project on various forums, interfacing with key stakeholders on a daily basis and over seeing the advocacy service. Pat Nairn: Finance & Administration Officer I’m Pat and I’m responsible for looking after administration and finance here at Rainbow. I’ve been working here for 10 years now, having previously worked in financial services. Outside of work, I am interested in gardening, reading and I have a son who is a DJ/actor. We have 3 dogs, Hannibal, a Maltese Terrier, Cain, a Samoyed and Ebony, an Lhasa Apso. This leaves me time for little else. Martin Rolston: Co-Cultural Counsellor I'm a qualified counsellor accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and Advanced Accreditation with Pink Therapy.My current work at The Rainbow Project ranges from appointments with individuals, couples and families to developing and facilitating personal development groups and training for counsellors in LGBT Affirmative Therapy. I have previously worked as a Residential Senior Project Worker at the Richmond Fellowship's therapeutic communities in Coventry and Liverpool, as well as The Young People's Centre here in Belfast. Dean Lee: Co-Cultural Counsellor I’m a qualified Counsellor and member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. I deliver co-cultural counselling services to people across the sexuality, gender and relationship spectrum from both the Belfast and Foyle LGBT Centres. It generally reassures our clients to know that their counsellor is LGBT themselves and has an LGBT affirmative approach to therapy. Before joining Rainbow, I worked in various voluntary, education and health organisations concerned with anti-racism and anti-sectarianism and was also instrumental in the establishment of the Northern Ireland Health and Social Services Interpreting Service. During my time at The Rainbow Project I have helped to set up a number of innovative projects including the Befriending Service, Gay Ethnic Group, Outwrite LGBT Creative Writing Group and the Arts Council Project Multiple Journeys of Belonging. Nat Creighton: Co-Cultural Counsellor I’m a Clinical Placement Counsellor on the Post-Graduate Counselling and Therapy Programme at Ulster University. I have been involved with various LGBT groups in Belfast since 2009. I have a background in community Arts and have been fortunate enough to work in some of Belfast’s large and small Arts venues. I love traveling and have lived in New York and Vancouver. In my free time I can mostly be found cycling, Park running, reading, meditating, painting or paying Softball. Ciara O'Neill: Co-Cultural Counsellor Hi there, my name is Ciara and I am proud to say the first female staff counsellor on the Rainbow team. I am a fully qualified counsellor and member of the BACP. I am presently working towards completing my Post Grad in Gender and Sexual Diversity Training alongside Pink Therapy. My background includes growing up in a rural environment and coming out as gay and at one stage literally being the only gay in the village. I am grateful to have a lot of experiences working with different organisations and charities including a counselling organisation set up in Mid Ulster (MACP) and Cruse (working with adults and young people). As well as working with the Rainbow Project I also work as a Childline counsellor working with young people and I also work for Lifeline working with clients who are presenting in distress with thoughts of suicide and self-harm. I thoroughly enjoy my work here at the Rainbow Project and working with clients to empower them to live their lives in how they want to. As well as working face to face counselling clients I also help out with the professional development groups as well which I really enjoy and would strongly recommend them. Dan Peters: Advocacy Officer My name is Dan Peters and I am a the LGBT advocate here at The Rainbow Project, I am originally from Newcastle, England where I worked as a child protection social worker from 2012 where I specialised in children and family work, Looked after children and adoption. Prior to this I worked in a range of in adult’s Social Care including supporting adults with acquired brain injuries and people with learning and physical disabilities. My role as the advocate means that I am able to support LGB&T people to report homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crimes and offer follow up support to victims of hate crimes. I also work with LGB&T people who are at risk of homelessness or who are already homeless. I have been at The Rainbow Project since September 2016 and am really enjoying my role. Michael Gray Sloan: Family Support Woker My Name is Michael and I am the Family Support Officer for The Rainbow Project. I have a background in education and worked in England as a teacher of Religion and Psychology for several years before returning home to take up a role as a Political Adviser to Caitríona Ruane on educational and LGB&T issues; a founding member of Sinn Féin LGB&T I have been involved in LGB&T activism for 12 years. My work currently involves working with our Gay and BI Dads Group, Family Ties and our Same Sex Family Project as well as providing individual support to LGB&T people. Leo Lardie: Sexual Health Development Officer I’m Leo. I’m the sexual health development officer. This means that I’m responsible for rapid HIV & syphilis testing in our Belfast and Foyle centres. I co-ordinate our sexual health clinics in partnership with BHSCT and WHSCT GUM clinics. I manage our OUTreach team who deliver our safer sex packs in Kremlin, Boombox/Maverick and Union Street two nights a week and I oversee our safer sex pack packing team. I often spend a lot of my time on the phone talking to and reassuring LGB&/T people who’re concerned about their sexual health. I’ve been volunteering for our community for about five years now particularly with LGB&/T young people. I absolutely adore what I do for a living and am thrilled to work towards better health and wellbeing for LGB&/T people in Northern Ireland. Jayne Robinson : Sustainability Officer Hi my name is Jayne and I am the Sustainability Officer for The Rainbow Project, when you hear the word sustainability most people think about trees and renewable energy, but it is to do with increasing the longevity and awareness of The Rainbow Project and the services we provide. My role is to primarily raise unrestricted funds through events, regular donor giving and encouraging the LGB&/T Community to get involved with us, either as a volunteer, donor or to utilise the services we have to offer. I have volunteered within the LGB/&T Sector for over 13 years and have been working in the sector full time for three years, striving to make a difference for our community. Michael McCartan: RSE Officer Hi, my name is Michael and I as the Relationship and Sexuality Education Officer with TRP. I have a background in Education and sexual health services. My role is to deliver our all-inclusive RSE programs designed to help young people develop, sustain, and recognise healthy attitudes towards and an understanding of relationships, sex, sexuality and sexual ordination. Mardi Kennedy: Regional Health and Well-being Officer As Regional Health and Wellbeing Officer, Mardi will be developing 5 peer and social support groups throughout rural areas of Northern Ireland. Get in touch with Mardi to find out where the groups will be located and come along to meet other LGB&T people for fun workshops, social outings and more! Contact [email protected] for more information.