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Board Members

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Board Members

Elaine McCrory - Chairperson

Elaine was appointed Chairperson in September 2018. She joined the Volunteer Now Board of Trustees in December 2014. Elaine worked for Ulster Bank for 37 years mainly within Marketing, Business Excellence and Human Resources and is now enjoying her free time. During her career with Ulster Bank Elaine was involved in Employee Supported Volunteering representing the Bank on the Volunteer Now’s ESV Management Committee and supported and encouraged her colleagues to get involved in volunteering as part of ‘make their business better’ and their own personal development. Elaine currently volunteers with Assisi Animal Sanctuary bringing all her valuable knowledge and experience to the Sanctuary Board as a Trustee.

Dr Nick Acheson - Trustee

Nick joined the Board of Trustees on 4th April, 2017. Nick is currently Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Management, Trinity College Dublin and Associate Lecturer in Social Policy at Ulster University. He retired from a career of teaching and research at UU in 2015 and is currently a Trustee of the Voluntary Sector Studies Network, a UK wide charity registered in England and is a co-editor of the academic journal, Voluntary Sector Review: an international journal of third sector research, policy and practice. He is the co-author of two books and the author of a numerous papers and articles on voluntary action and its relationship with government in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Canada. Before embarking on his academic career in 1997, Nick worked for NICVA and Disability Action, the latter in a variety of management roles. He was on the Board of the Law Centre NI and was a founding director of Community Evaluation NI, serving as chair for three years. He brings research and policy analysis skills to the Board and extensive knowledge of international research on volunteering and voluntary action more generally.

Nathan Campbell - Trustee

Nathan works as a solicitor in Cleaver Fulton Rankin in Belfast. Nathan specialises in a range of areas including charities and social enterprises, business immigration, employment law, data protection and commercial contracts. Nathan graduated from Durham University and has been working in various roles in the legal sector since 2012 including time spent working as a paralegal in Belfast and Doha, Qatar. Nathan enjoys assisting in raising money for Cleaver Fulton Rankin’s charity of the year and as a keen runner has completed three marathons for various charitable causes.

Seamus McCorry - Trustee

Seamus is the Regional Director for Virgin Media. Seamus is responsible for the overall Virgin Media engagement with local authorities and central government in addition to the responsibility in developing and growing the business sales teams. Seamus graduated from Southampton University and has been working in a number of senior roles across IT and telecoms for the last 25 years – Seamus spent a number of years in London and Dublin before returning to N. Ireland in 2012. Seamus is married with two children and lives in Mid-Ulster, Seamus is a champion for diversity and equality within Virgin Media and has supported a number of funding raising campaigns throughout his career.

Philip McDonagh - Trustee

Philip joined the Board of Volunteer Now in 2018. He is an economist and spent most of his career working in the private sector with PwC. He has always taken an interest in the voluntary sector and the role of social enterprise in the economy and has served as a member of a number of boards including 12 years as a trustee of Community Foundation NI. In 2009 he was appointed as one of the first board members of the Charity Commission for NI where he chaired the Audit & Risk Committee. Philip is also currently chair of the Board of Governors of Friends School Lisburn.

Marc Scott - Trustee

Marc joined Volunteer Board of trustees on 16 November 2018. Marc has over 15 years’ experience in the sports sector working initially with the Scottish Institute of Sport and Scottish Hockey before relocating to Northern Ireland in June 2009 to work with Sport Northern Ireland. Marc specialises in governance and leadership with his role at Sport NI entailing working with sports governing bodies to improve governance standards across the sector and to assist professional and volunteer workforces build capacity to be well placed to manage public investment. Since leaving Sport NI in April 2018, Marc has established Progressive Edge, a management consultancy with a primary focus on working with voluntary sector organisations to build board capacity, develop strategy and apply best practice processes to their work. Marc is Independent Chair of Archery Northern Ireland and in that role is tasked with overseeing a period of change and growth for the sport in NI.

Lucia Taylor - Trustee

Lucia joined the Volunteer Now Board of Trustees in October 2017. Lucia has a diverse background having been a practitioner within homelessness services and with young people in care for over 12 years. Lucia developed, embedded and currently leads Volunteer SU (the student volunteering department) at Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union, supporting students to tackle local/global inequalities through engaging in meaningful social action and volunteering opportunities. Working within this arena requires innovation, efficiency and adaptability. Lucia’s knowledge and experience lends itself to the areas of safeguarding, youth & community engagement, volunteering best practice and event/project management and she values the opportunity to share her expertise with Volunteer Now.

John Wilson - Trustee

John joined Volunteer Now Board of Trustees on 29 October 2013. John is a retired Civil Engineer who spent most of his career employed by a Dutch Construction Company only returning to Northern Ireland in 2000. He has been involved in volunteering for a number of years, having organised new tennis courts when Chairperson of Newcastle Tennis Club. He is actively involved in Downpatrick Railway through his role as President of the Society and was instrumental in raising funds for, and constructing, a new Public Viewing Gallery. John has a vast experience of management skills to offer and is still a very energetic member of society.

Ian Baxter-Crawford - Trustee

Ian joined the Volunteer Now Board of Trustees in October 2019 and has spent the past 13 years working across the media, marketing, engagement and communications in Northern Ireland. In his current role with The Prince’s Trust he is a member of the senior management team, leading the strategic direction of the organisation in Northern Ireland. In his current role as Head of Community Engagement at The Prince’s Trust, Ian is responsible for the direction and support of volunteering, marketing & communications, youth participation and partnerships. As the son of cub scout leaders, the importance of playing a part in your community was been instilled in Ian from an early age and he has always been an active volunteer.

Helen Connolly - Trustee

Helen is the Volunteering and Participation Manager for National Museums Northern Ireland where she is responsible for development of volunteering strategy and practice within the organisation. After graduating from University of Ulster with a degree in fine and applied art in 2002, Helen began volunteering within the community arts sector with a diverse range of groups, such as Belfast Travellers, various older people’s groups and youth groups within disadvantaged areas. It was through this experience that she became passionate about what well managed volunteer involvement could bring to organisations and the people they support. Helen has worked as a volunteering development professional for 13 years with organisations such as Barnardo’s, Volunteer Now and Action on Hearing Loss where she successfully led the organisation through the Investing in Volunteers standard. She has an interest and experience in topics such as organisational culture change and leading beyond your authority, having recently explored both as a Common Purpose alumni. Helen also brings experience and knowledge of writing and embedding strategy, influencing, partnership working and networking skills.

Martin McCarthy - Trustee

Martin is a Chartered Banker who worked for many years in AIB Group/ First Trust Bank, and more recently as NI Regional Manager for Charity Bank. While at First Trust, he chaired the Staff Charity Committee which had a number of very successful fundraising partnership with local charities. His role at Charity Bank dealt specifically with a range of charities and social enterprises across Northern Ireland., In the voluntary sector Martin was a Director of Building Change Trust where he was a Board member and Chair of the Finance sub-committee. Prior to becoming a Volunteer Now Trustee, he was an independent member of Volunteer Now’s Audit and Risk Committee. Martin also chairs his local church’s Finance Committee. In his spare time he describes himself as a music aficionado, and a sideline consultant for his youngest son’s football team.

Latest News

Statistics on the Experience of Volunteering

24 October 2019

This morning the Department of Communities released their report ‘Statistics on the Experience of Volunteering: Findings from the 2018/19 Continuous Household Survey’. The bulletin presents analysis on the following topics: Participation in volunteering; Types of voluntary work; Time spent volunteering; Volunteering experience; Factors that might encourage volunteering.   Read the report here.  

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Befriending Week 1-7 Nov

22 October 2019

Befriending Week takes place 1-7 November throughout the UK, raising awareness of befriending and the impact it has on individuals and communities in helping combat feelings of isolation and loneliness.  This year the Campaign will shine the spotlight on health and wellbeing.  Here in Northern Ireland Volunteer Now is encouraging people to take a moment […]

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Well Done You Spirited Souls with Giant Hearts!

4 October 2019

Have a look at this great video by Tourism NI – Volunteer Now is so proud to have been part of this Open experience with the support of the wonderful volunteers…you did the place proud, you spirited souls with giant hearts, the performance of a lifetime, you did indeed earn your curtain call!  Thank you!

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MEN 50+ … Take time to look after YOU!

4 October 2019

F R E E  M E N ‘ S  H E A L T H D A Y GIRDWOOD COMMUNITY HUB,  Girdwood Avenue, Belfast Friday 18 October 2019 10.30am – 2pm You’re invited to come along for a day of activities, entertainment, clubs, hobbies, games, volunteering, health advice, therapies, pamper sessions and leisure ideas.  There […]

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