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And the 2018 Leadership Award Winners Are...

And the 2018 Leadership Award Winners Are...

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the CO3 Leadership Awards 2018.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors, in particular Ecclesiastical Insurance, for their continued support.


And the 2018 CO3 Leadership Award winners are....



CO3 Leadership Awards 2018 from Sarah Boyd on Vimeo.

2018 CO3 Leadership Award winners


Our Trustee of the Year is Norman Carson, Chair of Action Cancer

Left to right: Norman Carson, Chairperson, Action Cancer and Nigel Crawford, Executive Director, Quilter Cheviot

Norman, who had a successful career in the public sector prior to joining the board, has shown remarkable enthusiasm, vision and commitment in his leadership of Action Cancer.

He has chaired the organisation since 2011 – a time when Action Cancer was going through one of the most challenging periods in its history. There had been no permanent chief executive in place for two years and there had been a failed attempt at a merger with another charity.

He has re-energised and re-focused the organisation and introduced strong governance. Under his inspiring leadership Action Cancer has very recently become the first charity in Europe to use 3D scans to x-ray women. He has also led on the development of a new Screening Clinic and Therapeutic Centre of Excellence, a vision that is due to become a reality in early 2018.

The Social Innovation award for the year goes to Aidan Byrne, Homeless Services Manager at East Belfast Mission


Left to right: Aidan Byrne, Homeless Services Manager, East Belfast Mission and Martin McCarthy, Trustee, Building Change Trust

Aidan is the co-founder of Street Soccer NI, and had the vision to see how football could be used as a hook to transform lives.

Street Soccer NI is a football project set up for the disadvantaged groups of society such as the homeless, drug and alcohol dependant, refugees, asylum seekers and long term unemployed.

The work is truly transformational. Some of the benefits of participating in the project include coming off drugs and alcohol, improving health and self-esteem, repairing relationships, finding employment, breaking out of homelessness, entering education and training and becoming a football coach or referee.

Street Soccer NI organises the Northern Ireland team for the Homeless World Cup and takes a team of eight people to play in tournaments all over the world every year.

Highly commended:
Bernadine McCrory, Alzheimer’s Society


Seamus O’Prey is Social Entrepreneurial Leader of the year

Left to right: Sharon Polson, Head of Policy and Innovation in the Department for Communities and Seamus O' Prey, Chief Executive, Ortus Group

Seamus is Chief Executive of the Ortus Group, based in West Belfast.

It was set up to stimulate economic activity on the Falls/Shankill interface. It now has five enterprises with a sixth under development, and has helped hundreds of SMEs on their journey of development. It is now the biggest enterprise agency in Northern Ireland and has achieved all this with no external funding.

What marked him out for the judges was his enthusiasm, extraordinary energy and the ability to constantly innovate and diversify the group to ensure its continued growth.

Highly commended:
Gareth Kirk, GLL
Dave Linton, Madlug CIC


The Leading People award was won by Colm McDaid, Chief Executive of Supporting Communities


Left to right: Jill Mills, Senior HR Consultant, Personnel & Training Services and Colm McDaid, Chief Executive, Supporting Communities

Colm is passionate about empowering people and under his leadership the organisation has shifted from the traditional command and control model to one which helps people and organisations become self-sufficient and make a real difference to their communities. His passion for community development is genuinely infectious.

Highly commended:
Barry Smyth, Alzheimer’s Society


The Leading for Impact award went to Jim McShane, Chief Executive at Ark Housing Association

Left to right: Jim McShane, Chief Executive, Ark Housing Association and Aongus O'Keeffe, Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader

He wins the award because of the impressive impact he has had in a short space of time.

An excellent communicator he has developed and started to implement a theory of change. This designed to maximise benefits for tenants and communities providing a renewed focus on tenants and staff shaping policy.

There is now a clear, focused growth plan in place and staff report that Jim’s influence is energising and inspirational.


Highly commended:
Jim O’Callaghan, Housing Rights


Martin Flynn, Chief Executive of the Open College Network NI, wins the award for Leading Organisational Change


Left to right: Donal Laverty, Consulting Partner, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore and Martin Flynn, Chief Executive, OCN NI

OCN NI develops and awards professional a technical qualifications ensuring that learners of all ages and abilities maximise their potential.

He has transformed the organisation from being a small part of a national network to a stand-alone, self-financing, not for profit, social enterprise, awarding over 30,000 qualifications annually to non-traditional learners. OCN NI currently sits at 7th place in the table of 100 awarding organisations for the highest number of qualifications awarded in Northern Ireland.

He has achieved the remarkable feat of restructuring and rebranding the organization and expanding its networks at a financially difficult time.

The organisation has been transformed with a deficit of £157,000 turned into a surplus of £122,000.


Highly commended:
Michael Boyd, Irish Football Association Foundation
Margaret Henry, thrive
Heather Weir, Northern Ireland Hospice


Our Inspiring Leader is Gillian Creevy, Chief Executive of the Cancer Fund for Children


Left to right: David Lane, Managing Director, Ecclesiastical Insurance and Gillian Creevy, Chief Executive, Cancer Fund for Children

When Gillian joined the Cancer Fund for Children in 2002 it had a staff of six and was struggling to remain viable after a fractious split with another organisation.

She realised at an early stage that funding from government would be difficult and so created a strategy to develop a diverse range of corporate and commercially-based income streams to provide autonomy to the organisation as well as the resources needed to ensure that services could be developed and delivered quickly.  

Under Gillian's leadership the organisation has generated almost £30m in funds and has remained staunchly independent of government funding. The income base has grown year on year and so too the delivery of an increasing range of specialist services in the community and at an award winning residential centre in the Mournes. The staff team today numbers almost 70. It is a remarkable achievement by any standards.



Highly commended:
Charlie Mack, Extern
Sharon Sinclair, British Red Cross


Leading Forward on Health and Social Care Reform goes to Heather Monteverde, Head of Services, Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Ireland


Left to right: Heather Monteverde, Head of Services, Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Ireland and Jackie McIlroy, Deputy Chief Social Work Officer, Department of Health

Northern Ireland’s Transforming Cancer Follow Up (TCFU) 2011-2014 programme has led to radical redesign of cancer follow up systems, the positive impact of which will be felt for years to come.
Macmillan’s Head of Services in Northern Ireland, Heather Monteverde, played a key leadership role and was instrumental to the programme’s success and its enduring legacy of reform.

Her experience of cancer survivorship drove home her conviction that aftercare could no longer be an afterthought while her passionate advocacy ensured that the need for change was understood and accepted across the political spectrum.

TCFU was developed to address difficult challenges facing a health and social care system already under pressure by bringing together a range of stakeholders to oversee the introduction of new models of breast and prostate cancer care. By 2030 it is predicted that 110,000 people will be living with cancer in Northern Ireland. TCFU aimed to improve aftercare quality, reduce inefficiency, enhance coordination and guarantee sustainability.

Coordinating a multi-agency team in the context of a complex, politically sensitive and high-profile environment takes a special kind of leader. In Northern Ireland, it took Heather.
Three years on from the programme, TCFU principles are a benchmark for cancer care and embedded within services across NI. Her leadership played a key role in the project has becoming best practice.


Highly commended:
Jacquie Richardson, Positive Life


Best Newcomer of the Year goes to Dawn Purvis, Chief Executive, Victoria Housing Estates


Dawn was unable to attend the evening and her award was presented to two Trustees of Victoria Housing Estates by Martin Flynn, Chief Executive, OCN NI

Dawn took over at VHE in the most difficult circumstances imaginable. The Charity Commission has removed the previous trustees in circumstances which are still the subject of litigation.

Her task has been to put things right, developing a three year strategy in response to the Charity Commission’s statutory inquiry into the previous running of the organisation.

She has shown extraordinary resilience, commitment and clarity in setting about the transformation, rebuilding a dysfunctional organisation into one worthy of the trust and confidence of staff, tenants and the wider community. It is an extraordinary achievement.


Highly commended:
Charlotte Dryden, Oh Yeah Centre
Margaret Kelly, Mencap



Lifetime Commitment to the Third Sector


Left to right: Conal McFeely, Development Executive, Creggan Enterprises and Andrew McCracken, Chairperson, CO3

Every year we present a special award to an outstanding individual who has given a Lifetime Commitment to the Third Sector.

This year’s winner is Conal McFeely, Creggan Enterprises.  Conal is a legend in his native Derry, a tireless champion for investment in the north west, a key voice in campaigning for the expansion of the university in Derry/Londonderry and a man who has dedicated a lifetime to community developing and peace building.

Conal is development executive at Creggan Enterprises, an organisation he helped to found in 1991. Since then it has created 350 jobs to date, assisted and supported 60 enterprises and projects and enabled around £5 million per annum in wages to be earned, spent and circulated within the local community.

Conal is not just recognised in his own city, but internationally, and is regularly invited to speak at events about social enterprise, peace building and community development.


Some of the Highly Commended Winners


Left to right: Jim O'Callaghan, Housing Rights, Barry Smith, Alzheimer's Society, Sharon Sinclair, British Red Cross, Dave Linton, Madlug CIC, Margaret Kelly, Mencap, Jacquie Richardson, Positive Life, Gareth Kirk, GLL and Heather Weir, NI Hospice.