Jacinta shares her Warrenpoint home with John, Ruaidhri and James, Kennedy (golden lab) and Stormi (golden retriever). With qualifications in Residential social work, Community Development, Community work, HR & training, she gained a distinction in her MSC in Executive leadership and tells us that’s it no more study now – not ever again! After working for many years in the public and third sectors in NI and England, she returned to NI in the early 90s and joined a Global recruitment company as a director of training. Becoming a first time mum later in life, she moved from the corporate world and discovered that support locally for families was very limited. Not shy of a challenge, she set about doing something to support local parents. First up was a consultancy role to establish a new SureStart project in South Armagh, and then she founded South Down Family Health Initiative, which led to the establishment of SureStart in Kilkeel and later rebranded in 2014 to Space – Supporting People and Community Enterprise. With the future in mind and a forward trajectory for the organisation in Oct 2020 has now took on the challenge to re-brand the charity to – Bolster Community.
When not influencing and lobbying for families, she is flying the flag for Social Enterprise in Northern Ireland. With a lifetime experience of managing projects that impact positively on people, place and profit she was named the Social Enterprise NI Leader of the Year in 2017 and has been dining out on that title ever since!
Her influence and leadership has inspired our Bolster Community team to always focus on the child, the parent, and not to lose the run of ourselves in bureaucracy. This helps maintain the culture of flexibility, creativity and passion and supports us to individually and collectively to reach for the stars.
A no-nonsense woman who us Bolster Buddies hide from each time we hear …….“I’ve been thinking”, as we know there is another idea /project being formed, yet the variety of our service offer and skill base at Bolster Community makes it both an invigorating and exhausting place to work at times.
A keen dog lover and advocate of all things County Down, including GAA, the Mournes, Warrenpoint and family, the Bolster Community Leader is fond of taking sabbaticals in Donegal, her special place! However her trusty mobile is never too far away and she has been known to visit the odd hostelry just to access wifi to allow her to keep in touch with the office (at least that’s what she tells us).
With strange music preferences such as Future Islands, Nathaniel Rateliffe, Queen and Stockton’s Wing, Donegal is probably the best place for her, oh and she is also a keen amateur oil painter, a fact she doesn’t tell many!