Our Board

With a strong board of directors and an experienced senior management team, we continue to influence policy and provide a comprehensive support service to the homelessness sector.

Mal Byrne

Mal initially worked as an addictions Social Work practitioner from 1999 – 2005 in Extern’s Homeless Support Team. He has worked with Homeless Connect for over 20 years including delivering training sessions in the past and has always felt the advocate role of Homeless Connect is vital in supporting the sector. Currently, Mal holds the post of Assistant Director of Drug and Alcohol services in Extern. Mal is also a member of Belfast Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team.

Maria Jennings

Maria is an Environmental Health Practitioner and has worked for over thirty years in the NI public sector, much of it delivering food safety controls. Maria is a member of the FSA’s Executive Management Team with responsibility for Regulatory Compliance, she is the HR Director and runs the FSA’s Northern Ireland office.

Cormac McArt

Cormac McArt is the director of the Westcourt Centre which is a charitable organisation with a focus on helping to reduce social exclusion through education.

Since 2008, Cormac has engaged with the homeless sector through various projects and initiatives aimed at supporting those impacted by homelessness. Cormac is also a board member of Edmund Rice International, a Non-Governmental Organisation based in Geneva and New York engaging in advocacy and human rights at the United Nations.

Simon Geddis (Vice Chair)

Simon graduated in food technology and business studies, he has over 25 years involvement in the agrifood sector and has extensive experience in food manufacturing and food safety systems. Simon is currently a Director at Avondale Foods Ltd and is involved in continuous improvement and project management.

Eddie Magowan (Treasurer)

Eddie is a Certified Accountant with significant senior financial management experience, most recently as Director of Finance & ICT with local housing association Radius Housing. He is a former Director with the Northern Ireland Hospice and member of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action; he has a good understanding of the issues and challenges faced by social enterprises operating in the Third Sector.

Liam Milligan (Chair)

Liam works as Mission Director with North West Methodist Mission.

Liam has worked as a senior manager in the commercial retail and statutory sectors and has twenty-five years’ experience working in the community voluntary sector. He has particular experience in delivery of services to adults in a community setting, cross border development work, community-based capacity building, reconciliation, training and rural development. He has also been involved in trans-European co-operation programmes and international exchange programmes.

Liam holds an Honours Degree in Business Studies from the University of Ulster and a Certificate in Training and Development. He is a qualified Assessor for National Vocational Qualifications and has been an Associate Lecturer with the North-West Regional College on their HND, Chartered Institute of Management, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Programmes and bespoke programmes to industry. Liam holds a number of voluntary positions including current Chair of Homeless Connect and North West Community Network

 

Kirsten Hewitt

Kirsten Hewitt works for the Simon Community Northern Ireland as the Director of Homelessness Services. Her career has been largely within the Homelessness Sector in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Kirsten’s passion to end homelessness is a driving force for her and a strong motivation in her working life.

Etain Ni Fhearghail

Etain Ni Fhearghail works for Housing Rights, where she looks after their online advice and information services. She is passionate about using digital tools to tackle housing problems and homelessness.

Jaclyn Richardson

Jaclyn Richardson currently works in the NI Civil Service. Throughout her career, she has developed a real passion for Housing and loves to make a difference. She is a Chartered Institute of Housing member which has helped her connect with Professionals within the sector.

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