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 have a background in Community Youth Work. My role is to support the LGBT community develop and sustain LGBT Peer Social Support Groups across Northern Ireland. I also work in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, working in partnership with the Newry Rainbow Community supporting people through one to one sessions, listening ear sessions, facilitating drop-in sessions, personal development programmes, workshops and health days and other activities. The other part of my Role is to co-ordinate the Befriending Service. This is a volunteer led service and its aim is to reduce individual’s social isolation.

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.

 

Harriet Long: Employment Consultant

I’m Harriet and I’m the Employment Consultant at The Rainbow Project. My role is to raise awareness among employers of the problems experienced by lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the workplace and highlight the benefits to employers of having robust equality and diversity policies in place.

 

Martin Rolston: Co-Cultural Counsellor

I’m a qualified counsellor accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). My current work at The Rainbow Project ranges from appointments with individuals, couples and families to developing and facilitating men’s group therapy and personal development groups and training counsellors and therapists in Gay Affirmative Therapy.  I also work with the Northern Ireland Prison Service working with gender and sexual minority clients. I have previously worked as a Residential Social Worker at the Richmond Fellowship’s therapuetic communities in Coventry and Liverpool, as well as The Young People’s Centre here in Belfast.  I have been attending workshops in Personal Development with London-based LGBT health organisation PACE since 2004 and have been a programme facilitator in their Loving Men programmes since 2007.

Dean Lee: Co-Cultural Counsellor

I’m a qualified Counsellor and member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. Along with Martin, I help to deliver co-cultural counselling services across Northern Ireland to males over the age of 14 who identify as being gay, bisexual or who are unsure of their sexual orientation. It generally reassures our clients to know that their counsellor is a sexual minority themselves and has a gay 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 also pioneered a multiple identity personal development grouup and project for people who identify as gay and who also come from a minority ethnic background.

 

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 

 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.

Stephen Donnan : Campaigns and Communications Officer

Hi my name is Stephen and I am the Campaigns and Communications Officer for the Rainbow Project, based in our Belfast office. My role is to communicate and raise awareness of our policy objectives, as well recruiting volunteers, organising events and promoting the work of the Love Equality campaign. I have a background in policy and campaigning within the LGBT sector and I am the former Chair of the LGBT committee for the Alliance Party and former press officer for Love Proudly.

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 10 years and have been working in the sector full time for a year, 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: Western Health and Well-being Officer

G’day! My name is Mardi and I am the Western Health and Wellbeing Officer in The Rainbow Project Foyle Center. I will be coordinating our amazing volunteers on different projects such as the Allotment, Men, Transderry and Women’s Groups, and additionally working with our LGBT community and allies on other exciting projects to promote improved health and wellbeing outcomes. I have recently moved here from Australia where my experience has been working in Community Development roles with LGBT, sex workers, multicultural and marginalised communities in sexual health, advocacy, worker’s rights and women’s health. I am excited about working with the wonderfully creative and active community up here!