Eileen is a well-respected community development practitioner with extensive experience in building community capacity, supporting community cohesion and strategic community development. She has project managed the design, implementation, and evaluation of a broad range of community development programmes.
Eileen has been involved in community development practice for most of her working life, using a Community Development approach in her community relations work, with the aim of empowering communities to identify their needs and to be pro-active in addressing these needs. By using this approach, a sense of ownership is secured. She is currently employed by Shankill Women’s Centre as the Greater North Belfast Women’s Network Co-Ordinator funded by the Community Relations Council and The Executive Office/North Belfast Good Relations Programme. Eileen has also worked to establish neighbourhood networks to enable the groups to meet, share information and build capacity.
She also works within West Belfast with a wide range of community organisations and women’s group and is currently working towards creating a West Belfast Women’s Network. Throughout her work Eileen has undertaken training needs analyses. This process entailed organising focus groups of users to discuss what they felt were their own personal ambitions in terms of education and training and matching these to available resources or finding other resources to meet needs.
Eileen is also a fully qualified STEPS practitioner, accredited by the Pacific Institute. STEPS is a personal development programme delivered in a group setting with a qualified facilitator who helps participants to co-create their learning through interactive discussions and personal reflection, whilst using a wide variety of learning styles. She has delivered the programme to a wide range of groups across Belfast, including Rathcoole. Eileen’s unbiased approach through her community development work has helped her to reach out to various communities and build relationships and networks throughout the Island of Ireland.
In 2018 Eileen received two prestigious awards the first presented by CRC Community Relations Council “Exceptional Achievement Award” and the second the “McCluskey Civil Rights Award” for her role in Human Rights, Civil Rights and Peace Building activities.