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Staff Profiles

Children in Northern Ireland employs the following members of staff.

Pauline Leeson

Pauline Leeson, CBE

Chief Executive

As Chief Executive of CiNI, Pauline is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day management of the organisation. She chairs the Children with a Disability Alliance and the Child Poverty Alliance. Pauline also is a member of the Safeguarding Board (NI) and The Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership.

In her spare time she loves walking the dog!

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Ellen Finlay

Policy Officer

As Policy Officer, Ellen is responsible for influencing policy development in a way which effectively promotes and represents the rights and needs of all children in Northern Ireland. This is achieved through providing policy analysis and direction on public policy consultations, policy briefings for members on important issues, hosting consultation and information sharing workshops, member meetings and working in partnership with government to design services that best meet the needs of children and young people. Ellen also sits on the Joint Forum.

In her spare time Ellen enjoys crafting and spending time with her family.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Roger Gowdy

Finance & Office Manager

Roger manages the finances of the organisation and oversees the office staff.

When he's not doing that, Roger enjoys relaxing with his wife and son, making films and being geeky about coffee, Apple products, and music.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Ciaran Traynor

Learning & Development Officer

Ciaran designs and delivers learning and development activities that enhance the knowledge, skills, and resilience of participants. He aims for training to be memorable, fun and to have a positive impact on service delivery.

He is a Social Worker and retired clown who has over 20 years of experience as a consultant, trainer and coach.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Darren Curtis

Locality Development Officer

Darren is the Locality Development Officer for the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership (CYPSP) and is based in Armagh. Darren is responsible for 6 Locality Planning Groups (LPG's) in the Southern Outcomes area: Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Dungannon, Newry and South Armagh. LPG's are partnerships between statutory, voluntary and community organisations that work with and for children, young people and their families at a local level.

Darren has been a Youth and Community Worker since 1996 and is a qualified Mental Health Nurse. In his spare time he enjoys music, cinema, crosswords, walking, cooking, gardening, buying colourful attire and waiting for Liverpool to win the league.

Tel: 028 9536 3966


Joan Broder

Change Coordinator

Dr Joan Broder has over 35 years’ experience in the voluntary and community sector developing and delivering adults, children and parents/carers services across the island of Ireland holding posts ranging from social worker, trainer, Director of Supporting Families to interim CEO.

She is currently change coordinator for the Think Family NI strategy for the community and voluntary sector across Northern Ireland.
In her spare time she acts in a voluntary capacity as chair of Victim Support NI and loves walking by the sea when she gets a chance.

Tel: 028 9040 1290

jenny groves

Jenny Groves

Training Coordinator

Jenny is the Training Co-ordinator for CiNI and is kept busy managing our growning training schedule.

She has previously worked in the community and voluntary sector co-ordinating volunteers within charities supporting homeless people and victims of crime.

Jenny has a background in theatre and drama and performs with South Bank Players and Beat Carnival. She enjoys costal walks, yoga and David Lynch films.

Tel: 028 9040 1290


Joanne Patterson

Locality Development Administrator

Joanne works in the Southern Area Locality Planning Office providing programme support for 6 Locality Planning Groups.

Outside of work, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family and ‘playing taxi’ to her two daughters, Mia & Zoe. She is passionate about languages (having studied French & Spanish at university) and voluntarily teaches English classes in her local area.

Tel: 028 9536 3216

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