Meet the team
Seamus Young, Trustee
Local resident Seamus, born in Ballynafeigh is passionate about his local community which he shares through his ‘history’ walking tours of the area.
Recently retired he worked as a Psychiatric Nurse in the Health Service. He has an established reputation for social action, elected by his peers to advocate on their behalf as a Trade Union Representative.
Alongside Philip he set up “Ballynafeigh Champions”, championing a shared future for the community.
Dr. Richard Turner, Trustee
Local resident Richard, brings over fifteen years’ experience of building social communities.
Since 2015 has worked as a Software Engineer with Qualcomm, where he develops innovative solutions to improve the sound quality in wireless audio.
In the early 2000’s while absorbed with studying for his PhD in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Richard found his social networks naturally suffered. He wanted something sociable and active to balance long days at a desk. With a love of music he was interested in dancing but admits he started off with two left feet and no rhythm. Determined to learn and hoping to build a social community, he quickly developed and started to run dance groups. Richard began teaching in his spare time and founded the Salsa Belfast and Swing Belfast communities. His passion for Lindy Hop is as strong as ever, with the dance community he established continuing to thrive!
Richard is an advocate of developing sense of belonging through shared interests to improve social health.
Philip Whyte, Trustee
Local resident Philip, brings over twenty years’ community development, peace building and conflict transformation experience.
Since 2015 has worked as Community Cohesion Officer with Clanmil Housing Group working throughout the province on social housing issues, including shared future housing.
He is a trusted social cohesion facilitator and has worked on numerous local, national and international projects throughout his career.
In more recent times Philip set up the local Mens Shed and along Seamus created “Ballynafeigh Champions”, a local peace and reconciliation group championing a shared future.
Dr. James Gallagher, Trustee
Local resident James, brings almost a decades’ clinical practice experience. He is a qualified counsellor, accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and previously completed his MSc and FdSc in Counselling and Therapeutic Communication.
Since 2012 he has worked as an accredited Crisis Counsellor on the Lifeline service. James has both a personal, lived experience of suicide loss and a professional interest in understanding and preventing suicidal behaviour. This is reflected in his current practice working with complex mental health presentations in a therapeutic context across the local community.
In June 2018, he completed a PhD focusing on the role of social connectedness for young people, particularly in the context of Suicide Prevention and Social Media. James has been invited to present his research locally, nationally and internationally.
Carrie Montgomery, Chief Executive
Local resident Carrie, is passionate that no one should feel lonely or socially isolated.
Carrie’s background is in suicide prevention and she has almost twenty years’ experience as a licensed counsellor. In 2006 she developed a suicide prevention pilot project for young men living in Belfast. The pilot established as the Lifeline service, Northern Ireland’s 24/7 suicide prevention service for all ages. As Deputy CEO of a regional charity, Carrie led the Lifeline service for its first decade.
In 2016, using her personal and professional experience, Carrie provided a compelling case for legislative change to the NI Assembly All Party Group on Suicide Prevention. She is an advocate for improved suicide safeguarding, supporting families at times of crisis with the humane commitment that no one should die alone, in despair, by suicide. Watch her TEDx Stormont Talk here
In 2017, Carrie was appointed as founder Trustee of the UK charity Mental Abuse Matters. Outside of work Carrie spends her time as a mother of two and enjoys running, yoga, and camping.