Our story

Formed 10 years ago by members of the North Belfast Community, CLARE (Creative Local Action, Response and Engagement) was created to provide a stand in the gap approach and support to the over 65s and vulnerable adults.

With too many older people becoming increasingly isolated, lonely, not living to their full potential and often ending up in premature care – CLARE identified a need that could be filled by a community support approach. 

Social work is at the heart of CLARE CIC, and allows us to bring strengthened support to our service users. With a health & wellbeing approach following closely behind, we seek to provide long lasting and significant changes. So far, CLARE CIC has had over 7,000 Social Worker contacts with service users, consisting of over 13,000 hours – and it is their passion to do so.

Since launch, CLARE CIC has helped to support over 650 older adults, provided around 3,300 services spanning over 2,000 hours, created multiple groups and facilitated a vast range of activities – and it keeps growing. 

CLARE is rooted in community and this was only enhanced when CLARE officially became a CIC (Community Interest Company) in early 2013.

We have a passion to do whatever we can to enrich, strengthen and support the lives of our service users.  

Meet our team

For the first time in years we have a full staffing team. With each member bringing a different set of skills to the table, it enables what we do at CLARE CIC to be multi faceted and to aid with a really well rounded approach to the support of service users.

So without further a due, we introduce to you the CLARE CIC team members!

Glenda

Development Manager (Chief Officer)

Glenda has been working in health development for the past eighteen years; primarily working in or supporting the third sector. Having a love for helping causes that benefit people and the community succeed, she has gained a vast range of experience working with both large and small organisations; from national charities to small community clubs and organisations.

Glenda currently works part-time as our CEO, typically a Tuesday-Thursday.

Shane

Operations Manager/Social Worker

Shane qualified as a social worker in 1995 and worked in the statutory sector in North Belfast for 11 years before moving to South Australia where he worked in both hospital and community settings for 12 years. On return to Northern Ireland in 2016, he worked again in statutory social work position for 2 years before leaving to take up a community social worker position with CLARE CIC (Creative Local Actions Responses and Engagement – Community Interest Company). He was recently appointed as Operations Manager for CLARE but he still tries to do as much direct social work as possible in this new role!

“It’s the social work I always hoped to do when training to become a social worker”

Joy

Community Health Facilitator

Joy is CLARE’s Community Health Facilitator and is responsible for coordinating health initiatives at an individual and group level plus recruiting, supporting and championing our incredible volunteers. 

Joy is also a registered nutritional consultant who has a passion to see others have the best physical health possible as well as nourish their bodies with the right foods and nutrients. She often works with those who have chronic conditions.

” It is never too early or late to start your health journey – and what we eat is paramount to that – plus it tastes so good”

Alison

Community Wellbeing Support Worker

From Community and Nursing Home settings, Alison’s wide reaching experience includes dealing with Dementia,  struggles with low mood, assisting with physical needs and providing practical support.

Alison is passionate about mental health and continues to gain training and experience in the field of mental support and wellbeing as she knows talking is so important and the benefit of a bit of company can be invaluable.

“I like to make sure everyone is doing as best as they can. I love being in the position where I can help people”

Maria

Community Social Worker

Born and bred in Greece, Maria is a qualified Social Worker and has devoted the last 10 years to improving the lives of others through social work in Northern Ireland.

Maria has had a wide range of experiences working in the Voluntary Sector including invaluable work with service user groups such as refugees, asylum seekers, foreign nationals and people involved in the Criminal Justice System.

Maria is passionate about history and psychology and brings a real depth to our team. She is also a lover of good food, which the team also gladly avails from.

Lynne

Community Social Worker

Lynne is Service Lead on Group work. She has more than 25 years’ experience of working in the statutory and voluntary sectors in Belfast and Edinburgh. She has worked in Children and Families and Fostering and Adoption teams with Edinburgh Council and as a Senior Practitioner with Barnardos Scotland. She has worked with Edinburgh Council and Positive Futures Belfast to support children and adults with disabilities.

Lynne trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction in 2008 and has delivered programmes for NHS Scotland, Belfast Trust, Queens University, Barnardos, Inspire, community organisations, carers groups and the public.

Lynne is passionate about group work and using the power of connection to address social isolation and loneliness in the over 65 population. She has set up and run weekly and monthly groups over the past year to create safe and supportive spaces. Lynne is keen to develop this work in partnership with other organisations.

Our Board Members

Billy Hutchinson

Chairperson

Billy is the Project Manager at Mount Vernon Community Development Forum and is one of the founders of CLARE CIC

Joanne Kinnear

Advisor

Gretta is a social worker and a former Project Manager / Social Worker with CLARE CIC.

Ritchard Brazil

Vice Chairperson

Richard is an Operations Manager with DeRic and has also been involved with CLARE CIC before it was formed.

Amanda Ashe

Treasurer

Another founding non-executive director Amanda is a public sector employee passionate about developing her area of North Belfast.

Joanne Kinnear

Non-Executive Director

Joanne is currently Chief Executive at the Ashton Centre, another great North Belfast resource helping to support and develop the local community.

CLARE CIC is always on the lookout for skilled and passionate Board members who can strategically help the organisation move forward. If you would like to know more and what is involved please

Our Funders