About us User Forum User Forum Team Jim McGeough Newry User Forum/Regional Chair Jim joined Cedar’s Brain Injury services in June 2008 and in addition to the internal training he completed several work placements and courses including Emergency First Aid and Health and Safety. Jim was also a participant with the ConneXions Project and is still involved in the Newry network, regularly attending events and activities with other members. Jim completed Capacity-building training which included completion of an OCN Level 1 in Peer Support, which helps participants to support others with disabilities. Paul McKenna Ballymena User Forum Paul has been a service user with Cedar’s Training Services in Ballymena since November 2009. He joined the service after experiencing a back injury which meant he could no longer continue in his role as a worksite joiner. Paul has been supported by Cedar to access a range of work placement opportunities and courses including NEBOSH qualifications, First Aid, IT and PLLTS Level 3. Paul is now qualified as a Health and Safety trainer. Paul has been active on the Ballymena User Forum since its formation in 2012 and as well as taking on the role of Local Chairperson, Anne Straghan Belfast User Forum Anne was involved with Cedar’s Community Inclusion Programme in Belfast where she attended swimming lessons and completed courses in Spanish, German and French. Anne was encouraged to get involved with Cedar’s Belfast based User Forum and quickly progressed into the role of Vice-Chairperson and then Chair. Between 2011-2013 Cedar’s User Forum under-went a regionalisation process to ensure the equal representation of service-users across Northern Ireland. Throughout this process, Anne was appointed Regional User Forum chair whilst continuing to serve as local chair for the Belfast group. In this position she offered mentoring, support and guidance to the newly appointed local chairs, assisting them establish and develop the local user groups. Brian Murray Foyle User Forum Brian Murray lives in the Waterside area of Derry with his wife Deirdre and their three children. He acquired a brain injury when he was involved in a road traffic accident 27 years ago and as a result he was left with a visual impairment. Brian was initially referred to Cedar’s Brain Injury Services which helped him focus on his cognitive rehabilitation and also completed our Active Citizenship programme to help him build his volunteering experience. He also completed Cedar’s OCN Peer Support Volunteer Training which has equipped him with the skills and confidence to support other service-users to become more active citizens in their community. He has also been supported to register as a volunteer with RNIB to assist with the delivery of ‘visual awareness training’ and offer practical peer support to other people with visual impairments who wish to become proficient in the use of ipad technology. Brian dedicates a lot of his time to being an advocate for others who experience disability. He has been an active member of Cedar’s User Forum in the Foyle area for over 3 years and has progressed to Chair. In addition he also represents the voice of our service users on the Western Trust’s Modernisation of Day Opportunities Review and User Group reporting on health and social care services, locally. In addition, Brian is a committee member of the disability Campaigning Action Network C.A.N. and attended the launch of the group at Stormont in November 2013. Brian is a positive role model for people with disabilities; he gets involved and is keen to take on new challenges. He can articulate his experiences in an appropriate manner and can be a positive mentor of others. Pat Harkin Enniskillen User Forum Pat is from the Lisbellaw area and has been a service user with The Cedar Foundation’s Brain Injury Service in Enniskillen since March 2013. Pat is currently being supported to complete a further education course in Information and Computer Technology. He is also being supported in finding work opportunities. Pat joined the Enniskillen User Forum in October 2013 and took up the role of local chairperson in February 2014.