Delivering respite breaks for family carers in the Belfast area by providing activities for their sons and daughters with a learning disability
Tony Doran is a founding member of Caring Breaks and has been involved in the organisation since its inception in 1999.
A recently retired managing director of the Construction Employers Federation, he is currently chair of the Construction Industry Training Board and of the Construction Industry Pension Scheme, Enhance. Caring Breaks has benefitted imensely from Tony’s considerable experience in leading organisations, particularly in the areas of corporate governance and strategy. Tony is married with two children, his wife Sylvia is chair of Oaklee housing Association. He is a member of Belfast West Rotary Club and has a variety of other charitable interests.
Tony recently retired as managing director and chairman of the construction company Gilbert-Ash. He has been a director of Caring Breaks since 2001 and is chairman of the finance sub group.
A former president of the Construction Employers Federation, he is on the board of several construction related companies. He is a director and trustee of Lloyds TSB Foundation NI and a member of various committees at Childline. Tony was awarded the OBE is the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 1998 for services to the construction industry and charitable organisation.
A Fellow of the Chartered Accountants of Ireland, Vivienne trained at Price WaterhouseCoopers and is currently working for the Construction Employers Federation Ltd where she joined in 1998 as Finance Manager. Vivienne has been on the board of Caring Breaks since 2003 and is also a member of the finance sub group.
George trained and qualified at Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast, as a Chartered Naval Architect, Chartered Mechanical Engineer and as a Chartered Building Services Engineer.
In 1960 he was appointed Senior Mechanical and Electrical Engineer with the Northern Ireland Hospitals Authority, Belfast. In 1973 he transferred to the Department of Health and Social Services as Principal Professional Engineer, (Mechanical and Electrical Services.) The duties of the post were varied, wide ranging and included planning, monitoring, perparing design team briefing documents and meetings, estimated capital and revenue cost for new health care projects. He completed his business career as a Consulting Mechanical & Electrical Engineer.
George is a founding member of Caring Breaks Limited and has been involved in the charity since its formation in 1999. He is a member of the carers sub-group which monitors the performance of the caring services. Furthermore, he is chairman of the Orchardville Training and Resource Centre, Parents and Friends Group. In addition, he has been a part-time carer for 50 years looking after his daughter, Elizabeth, who is a Down syndrome lady.
George was a member of the Board of Directors of the Orchardville Society Limited for 30 years and chairman for 10 years. The Society prodvides education, training, work experience and paid work opportunities for adults with a learning difficulty. He was a Trustee and part-time secretary of the Northern Ireland Special Olympics Trust. This Trust organised training programmes and competitions for athletes with a learning difficulty who resided in Northern Ireland.
George’s vision is one where all carers will receive respite and each person with a learning disability will have the opportunity to maximise their skills, talents and knowledge and take part in enjoyable recreational and social activities.
A founding member of Caring Breaks, Sandra has been a director of the company since 1999. She also chairs the carer sub group, which monitors the development of the service. Sandra has been a full-time carer for 41 years, looking after her daughter Kathy who has a severe learning disability, cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She is passionate about the way people with a learning disability, their parents and carers and those who work with them are treated by government and society in today’s world.
In 2007 she was appointed by the former Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey, to represent the voice of carers of people with a learning disability on the Board for Mental Health and Learning Disability. She was also responsible for chairing the Carer Reference Group during that time. In 2009 Sandra was invited to join the Bamford Monitoring Group to provide feedback to the government from a carer perspective on service improvement in relation to the implementation of Delivering the Bamford Vision.
Sandra has been chair of the Edgcumbe Parents and Friends Group, a registered charity for almost 20 years. It supports adults with a learning disability who attend Edgcumbe Training and Resource Centre. The group acts as an advocate as well as helping to enrich the lives of people with a learning disability, through providing a great many extra opportunities and experiences which would otherwise never be possible.
George Hamilton was initially a journalist for 10 years, becoming business editor of the Belfast Telegraph, before joining the NI Government Information Service in 1970 where he served in a number of departments. Appointed Head of Corporate Communications in the then, Industrial Development Board in 1986, he later became chairman of the NI branch of the Institute of Public Relations.
After retirement in 1998, he worked as a PR consultant for a number of local companies and government agencies also including, on a voluntary basis, with the charity Nexus, with whom he won a NICVA award. He joined the board of Caring Breaks in 2008.
Rachel has personal experience of the Caring Breaks service. A family carer, she and her son Peter, have been using the service for eight years. She has been involved in voluntary work for many years, particularly with groups for parents of children with disabilities. Rachel joined the board of directors of Caring Breaks in 2009. She is also a member of the carer and fundraising sub groups. Rachel has a particular interest in the arts, events and PR and even had her own radio show – an interest she is keen to develop.
Stephen O’Brien brings a wealth of front line professional and management experience to his role as a board member of Caring Breaks. He joined the company after his retirement in 2007 as Head of Adult Services with the South & East Belfast Health & Social Services Trust. Stephen has a strong track record in working in partnership with the voluntary sector built over many years as head of contracts with the Trust.
Having joined the NI Civil Service in 1973, Liam established NI-CO (the public sector marketing company) in 1990. In 1997 he joined the IDB as Executive Director, responsible for attracting inward investment to NI. After a brief period on secondment to set up the body, he was appointed CEO of InterTradeIreland in 2000.
Liam is a member of the Council of the University of Ulster, and Advisor to the National Competitive Council Dublin and sits on the Northern Committee for the Sales Institute of Ireland. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors and is on the board of the Institute of British Irish Studies at University Dublin.
Liam has many charitable interests and is chairman of Drake Music NI, a project that provides access to music making for children and adults with complex needs. He joined the board of Caring Breaks in 2009 and is also a member of the company’s fundraising sub group.