22nd March: 7.00pm

Homelessness: What Are We Not Talking About?
What do you think of when you think of homelessness? Did you know that most homeless people in Northern Ireland are not rough sleepers?

To celebrate Shelter Northern Ireland’s 40th anniversary this year, we are hosting an open discussion on common misconceptions of homelessness, what issues homeless organisations are facing during this time, how they are planning to continue to provide support for homeless people, and most importantly – what you can do to help! Speaking at the event will be a panel of experienced professionals, from managers of homeless support networks in the UK to those working on the frontlines. If you’d like to find out more, there will be a chance to submit questions at the end in an interactive live format.

Speakers include:

Ray Cashell Ray is one of Shelter NI’s founder members. He has been a member of the board since 1980 and was Chair from 2011 to 2020. His career has mainly been in Social Housing, working for SHAC Housing Association as Chief Officer for 32 years prior to his retirement in 2010. He was an active member of the NI Federation of Housing Associations, Chairing the NIHA Charitable Trust for several years and serving as Chair of NIFHA 2009 – 2010. He has been active in regional, national and international housing networks including CHNI, NSBO, and Homeless International. He has served on a number of Government and other Housing working groups and was an occasional lecturer in Housing Studies at Ulster University.

Sean McCarry Sean has been involved in various community support organisations since he was 18 years old, including the Red Cross, the RNLI, the Coastguard, the MCUI Medical Team and Search. He has vast experience in Emergency Response including major incidents such as the Omagh Bombing and the aftermath of the 911 attacks in New York. He is Founder, Director and Regional Commander of The Community Rescue Service (CRS) which works to find missing people, many of whom have experienced homelessness. The CRS is part of Shelter NI’s Homeless Support Group Alliance.

Currently Sean is the CEO of the Northern Group of companies with business interests not only in Northern Ireland but also throughout the British Isles, and has been in business for over 40 years. He has been recognised locally, nationally and internationally, being the recipient of several awards.

Danny McQuillan For over twenty years Danny has worked in the community and voluntary sector holding a variety of positions both voluntarily and in paid capacities.

In his role as Director of Services, Danny draws on his particular areas of expertise which include service development and delivery, service commissioning and quality assurance, policy development, public relations, fundraising and social media development.

Danny oversees the delivery of a range of services to people who are homeless, people leaving prison, those living with an addiction and providing support to refugees.

As the Director of Services on an all-Ireland basis, he is responsible for providing leadership to the directorate, ensuring a long-term strategy is in place and that it is achieving its objectives in full, as well as maintaining and substantially growing service provision across all-Ireland and assessing potential for growth into other geographic areas. In November 2020, Danny was appointed interim Chief Executive of Extern Group.

Claire Frew Claire is the Policy & Impact Manager at Homeless Network Scotland and has worked for the organisation since 2004, with a particular focus on supporting the transition to Rapid Rehousing and Housing First in Scotland, and working alongside people with frontline and personal experience of homelessness to influence policy decisions. She has completed her Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Studies at the University of Stirling, her Masters in Public Policy at the University of Glasgow, and is an Honorary Research Fellow at I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University.

Kirsten Hewitt Kirsten works for the Simon Community Northern Ireland as the Director of Homelessness Services. Her career has been largely within the Homelessness Sector in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. For 5 years however Kirsten left Northern Ireland and lived between Canterbury and London completing a Masters and working on significant change projects in both the voluntary and public sector.

Kirsten’s passion to end homelessness is a driving force for her and a strong motivation in her working life.

Martin Gavin Martin is Head of External Relations at Homeless Network Scotland, a communications professional who has more than 25 years’ experience in public sector and third sector roles. After training in photography and journalism, he worked in magazine publishing and then several local authority communications teams, in both London and Scotland. From 2016 to 2018 he headed up Media and Public Relations for the national children’s charity, Action for Children, managing staff based across the country, including Northern Ireland, and served on the Chartered Institute of Public Relations Public Services Committee.

Find out more: shelterni.org

date & time

date & time

22nd March
(duration: 90 minutes)




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