2021 sees a new-look board for StepIn with the appointment of two new trustees. We are delighted to welcome Ann Shakespeare and Muireann Moyles to the board, which now numbers nine in total. Anna currently works with Pobal, supporting the Government in delivering programmes to combat social exclusion and disadvantage while supporting community development. Anna has 35 years’ experience working alongside individuals with social care or mental health support needs as a frontline support worker, as a policy maker, senior manager and as a chief executive.
Anna is really interested in supporting local community capacity and currently volunteers on the Board of Drogheda Women and Children’s Refuge and on the Governing Body of Dundalk Institute of Technology. Anna is also passionate about supporting individuals to independence, so joining the board of StepIn means she can stay connected with people spreading their wings in their local community and support them to be successful on their independence journey. Anna, originally from North Dublin, has lived in County Louth for more than 30 years and is married with four adult children and one grandson. Muireann brings a wealth of experience to the StepIn board. Presently, she works as Disability Service Manager for the Brothers of Charity Services Ireland in South Roscommon.
Raymond Watson is the company secretary for StepIn. He has worked in the area of supports for people with intellectual disabilities for the past 30 years. Raymond worked in London supporting people to transition back to their home borough, and then moved to Ireland to work in the community for St John of Gods, managing a residential house for six people for 10 years.
In 2002, Raymond started working for the Open Training College, which provides accessible and flexible educational opportunities for staff in disability and human services. He was the social care course director for 10 years before becoming the head of online learning. Raymond is also on the board of Health Action Overseas. HAO supports seven people in Constanta, Romania, who were institutionalised, to live in the community.
He likes soccer (Manchester United), the Beatles and reading. Raymond hopes he can be a good support for the independent, inclusive, innovative model that allows people to live in their communities, that StepIn delivers.
Fellow board member Roisin O'Doherty is retired having previously held the position of Head of Social Work with the Brothers of Charity. Roisin attended UCD as under-grad and post-grad. She worked with the HSE for a number of years in the areas of child psychiatry, adoption, foster care and child protection. Subsequently, she worked for 12 years with the Brothers of Charity Services, Roscommon, as Head of Social Work.
Roisin says: "StepIn gives people the opportunity to live ordinary lives, to develop connections and friendships within their community and to contribute to their community."
Dawn Hunt is the chairperson of StepIn. She is a Principal Clinical Psychologist with the Brothers of Charity in Roscommon.
Marian Keigher comes to the StepIn board with huge experience. Marian is Director of Services at Vita House Family Centre in Roscommon. She is also a director of Roscara Housing Association. Marian previously led the team at the Brothers of Charity in its head offices in Roscommon town.
Aisling Hynes is our Supported Living Coordinator. A major part of her role is to build and maintain good working relationships with other agencies involved in supporting the network and the members – this includes the county council, the Community Welfare Service, local housing associations and disability service providers and the Department of Social Protection, the Gardaí and so forth.
She has eight years experience supporting people with intellectual disabilities in Roscommon. She first joined Stepin as the network supporter in Roscommon town. "I have great appreciation of the service that Stepin provides and get great satisfaction seeing how the members can live good lives in the heart of their communities no matter their age or abilities," says Aisling.
Noelin Fox is a former chairperson of StepIn. She has worked with people with intellectual disabilities for more than 20 years in various places in the west of Ireland. Currently, she works as Course Director with the Open Training College, delivering online learning. Noelin comes from County Leitrim and lives with her family in County Galway. What impresses her most about StepIn is, firstly, how well the members manage to live good lives in their own homes in their communities and, secondly, the ways in which members support each other – the two things which mark out StepIn as a great way forward for people with disabilities.
Network members Aoife Hegarty and Rachel Kelly have also joined the board. Their experiences as members bring a new dimension to decision-making and aid understanding of the best networks and the best way to develop networks.
Louise Coll is a Supported Living Organiser. The role gives her responsibility for the effective operation and administration of StepIn's Roscommon network, enuring a high standard of service for the members. She also undertakes an educational role for StepIn, bringing greater awareness of its work and value in supporting independent living.
Louise has more than nine years' experience working from residential care to supported living and community mentoring.
She is a strong advocate of StepIn's mission. " The support is person-centred and specifically tailored to meet every unique need, underpinned by the philosophy that every individual has the right to live the life they choose for themselves," she says. "Needs are built around the network members rather than you fitting into a service."