Northern Ireland committee

Mental Health Foundation

Paul Sweeney

Committee Chair

Paul Sweeney

Paul has a wealth of experience working in the voluntary, community and public sectors in Northern Ireland.

From 1987 to 1994 he was the Director of the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust, which supported community-based self-help initiatives.

He joined the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) in 1994, initially on secondment, as an adviser on community development and reconciliation. Throughout his subsequent career in the NICS he held a number of senior positions including Deputy Secretary in the Office of the First and deputy First Minister, Permanent Secretary in the Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure and Permanent Secretary in the Department of Education.

Since retiring from the NICS in 2017 Paul has undertaken a trustee role in a number of not-for-profit organisations involved in regeneration, culture and young people.

He said: “I consider it a privilege to be appointed into this role and to be afforded the opportunity to build on the success of the Fund's grant making in the years ahead.

“The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector across Northern Ireland has responded to the challenges of COVID-19 with leadership, resilience and compassion. I believe that The National Community Fund is well placed to continue supporting local people as we re-build after the immediate pressures of the pandemic."

Sandra McNamee

Sandra McNamee

Sandra has a wealth of experience, spanning over twenty years, of working in the community and voluntary sector, in particular the children's and women’s sectors. Her previous roles include Management Coordinator at North Down and Ards Women’s Aid and Business Manager at NSPCC. Additionally Sandra has held the position of Non-Executive Director for two well-established charities in Northern Ireland.

In her current role as an Independent Management Consultant, Sandra works with clients across the voluntary, community and public sectors, to provide a range of consultancy solutions, which help organisations reach their potential and create positive change in their communities. Sandra has a particular interest in service evaluation and performance measurement, especially in relation to supporting organisations to capture social impact.

Sandra also has a keen interest in promoting children and young people’s rights, in particular rights relating to participation and engagement. She has a passion for working with children and young people, to raise awareness of keeping safe, and to empower them to access support when needed.

"I am absolutely delighted to be appointed to The National Lottery Community Fund NI Committee. Over the years I have seen the huge impact The National Lottery Community Fund can make in tackling disadvantage and bringing real improvements to those who are most in need. I look forward to taking up this role and to playing my part in the delivery of our new and exciting strategic framework and vision, which clearly puts people in the lead."

Tony Doherty

Tony Doherty

Tony Doherty is the Regional Co-ordinator of the Healthy Living Centre's Alliance. His previous role from 2002 to 2014 was General Manager of the award-winning Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum in Derry and was responsible for the conversion of Derry’s former Gasyard site on Lecky Road for community, cultural and educational regeneration.

"I am delighted to be appointed to The National Lottery Community Fund's NI Committee. Over the years of working within the community sector I have witnessed how

neighbourhoods, towns and villages have been transformed by the Fund’s support. I am particularly interested in how The National Lottery Community Fund can continue to work with others to overcome the grinding effects of social inequality in our society."

Tony is Chair of the Northern Integrated Care Partnership (ICP), a local driver in the transformation of the health service, and is a member of the Transition Leadership Group for ICP Development. He has forged strong links with GP Federations bringing general practice closer to community development and social prescribing and is currently working to establish an all-Ireland Social Prescribing Network. Tony is a member of a Programme for Government Implementation Group re Expansion of Community Development Approaches to Health & Wellbeing.

He is a part-time writer of memoir, having published his first book This Man’s Wee Boy to critical acclaim in 2016. His second book The Dead Beside Us was published in October 2017 and he’s due to complete the final part of his trilogy in October 2019.

Charlie Mack

Charlie Mack

Charlie has worked as a director in a number of large UK voluntary sector organisations and is currently Chief Executive of the Cranstoun Group. Previously he worked as CEO of Extern and UK Group Director for the Royal National Institute of Blind people.

"I am privileged to be appointed to The National Lottery Community Fund to play my part in building a better Northern Ireland. The National Lottery Community Fund has an important role to play in empowering people most in need across Northern Ireland. I am looking forward to helping to make decisions that will support people to improve their lives and build better communities."

Charlie has worked at a senior level in local government and the private sector in England before taking up a career in the voluntary sector. He is a Non-Executive Member of the Local Government Staff Commission and was previously a Committee Chair at the NI Social Care Council. Charlie is also a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Eileen Mullan

Eileen Mullan

Eileen has worked within and for the public, voluntary and community sectors for over eighteen years. During that time she has been privileged to be a part of many projects that impacted greatly on communities across Northern Ireland. They have included projects focused on access to education, the environment, enterprise development in areas of social disadvantage along with equality and diversity.

"I am delighted to have been appointed to the NI Committee of The National Lottery Community Fund. I have watched the impact this Fund has made across communities over the last ten years and have seen the real tangible benefits from it. I look forward to continuing this great work and being a part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s next chapter.”

Eileen is a trusted advisor to leading NI boards and a coach who has worked with leaders across the public and third sectors. Founder of Strictly Boardroom and the Boardroom Apprentice, enabling and empowering the next generation of decision makers. She holds an MSc in Management and Corporate Governance along with an IOD Diploma in Company Direction. Eileen holds Non Executive roles within Health and Regulation and is a powerhouse in advocating for diversity and a champion for change.

Kate Clifford

Kate Clifford

Kate has 25 years of experience working and volunteering in the community sector in rural Northern Ireland. Since 2013, she has held the post of Director of Rural Community Network having previously worked to build peace and understanding as a Rural Enabler working with Institutions such as the GAA, Churches and the Orange Order.

She is passionate about addressing inequalities in society and working to challenge policies and practices which continue poverty and disadvantage. She has experience of working with government departments and international agencies on issues of rural development, peacebuilding, gender equality, poverty and health inequalities. She is a firm believer in locally led community development movements and has spent much of her working life supporting small groups of people to make positive and lasting changes in their communities.

“I am delighted to be appointed to the National Lottery Community Fund’s NI Committee. I have witnessed first-hand the impact the National Lottery investments have made locally, from huge multiannual funding streams to the essential investments of Awards for All, small scale funds which are the lifeblood of many smaller groups who do important work in our communities. It is an honour to be appointed to this Committee and I look forward to helping to shape the strategic focus of this important fund in this region in the coming years.”

For ten years Kate worked as the Education and Training Manager in the Rural College teaching on the MSc Rural Sustainable Development Programme. She is graduate of Queen’s University Belfast, holding a BSc in Agricultural Economics and Management and an MSc in Rural Development.

Northern Ireland committee meeting minutes

Management expenses