Our Staff

Diane Holt

Diane’s journey with whole life mission and community development began in 1996 when she was asked to develop what became The Link Family and Community Centre, enabling Christians in Newtownards, Co. Down to engage more effectively with local community need. During that time, she was trained in the Church Community mobilisation process by Tearfund and successfully enabled a number of churches to engage with their local community. In 2011 she moved to Tearfund full time as Church in Community Advisor with their IMPACT UK team. She then spent 3 years supporting leaders in Africa with ministries of peace and reconciliation as part of the Inspired Individuals Programme. It became obvious that there was much learning for the Church in Ireland from Christians in Africa. She is passionate about Church Community Transformation and supporting and enabling Christian leaders to fulfil their vision. She is married to Alan and has two children, Sam and Iona.

Derek Poole

Voluntary Programme Facilitator
Derek has been involved in the work of faith-based community development and peace-building for over 40 years and has initiated a range of leadership development and grass roots programmes designed to address the nature and causes of the Conflict in Northern Ireland. Derek was Director of The LINC Project, a Christian community-based organisation active in good relations, community development and conflict transformation initiatives. Before that he worked for ECONI (Evangelical Contribution on Northern Ireland) which became “Contemporary Christianity” in Northern Ireland. He has travelled internationally and worked in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Cambodia with communities involved in issues of ethnic conflict. He holds a masters degree in Irish Studies and has trained in mediation, conflict resolution, group dynamics and leadership development. He is currently exploring the themes of culture and identity as causes of conflict.

Board Of Directors

Morris McAllister

Chair Board of Directors

Now retired after 41 years in the public service, Morris is married with 2 grown up children; he is a member of Strean Presbyterian Church, Newtownards.

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    An Environmental Health Officer (EHO) by background, he was Chief EHO for N. Ireland for some 9 years and was appointed the first NI Director of the NI Food Standards Agency when it was set up in 2000.  Morris was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2009.

Cliff Kennedy


Worked for a number of years as a Sales Rep before joining Tearfund, a relief and development charity.  He spent 12 years encouraging churches,

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    groups and individuals to be involved in community development overseas.  1995 saw him apply those principles on a local community basis and with the help of others, he set up Oasis in East Belfast. The organisation has now expanded to include a range of activities including training, economic development, youth work, and health projects. Cliff joined The Link in 2017, to work with churches applying community development principles. In 2015 Cliff was awarded the MBE for community services.

    He is married to Heather and has four children and 8 grandchildren.  He is part of a local church and enjoys playing golf and watching Ulster Rugby

Sam Moore

Is the Ireland Director of Innovista, based in Dublin. Innovista Ireland work with churches and other organisations to equip leaders with the skills for local mission.

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    They also run a schools leadership and mentoring programme called RISE. Sam has a theology masters, considerable experience in leadership training, leading teams, facilitation, and content creation. He helped write Innovista’s Tempo Leadership Course which runs in several countries. Sam is involved in leadership in his local church, serves on the Resident’s Association committee and tries to find time to keep an allotment going. He is married to Emily, a volunteer manager in an inner city Dublin charity and they have two small children.

Karen Jardine

Karen Jardine is Public Affairs Officer for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. In her role she assists the Council for Public Affairs to develop the Church's thinking on issues of public policy.

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    Prior to this she worked in the public sector with a focus on policy development and legislative scrutiny. She also previously supported churches seeking to serve their local communities through community audits. She is an elder in a local church in East Belfast.

Sharan Kelly

Is the Chief Executive Officer of Tearfund Ireland since September 2012. Sharan is the Chairperson of Dóchas,

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    the Irish Association of Non-Government Developmental Organisations and Vice Chair of EU-Cord, the European Network of Christian Relief and Development NGO’s. Sharan has approximately 20 years’ senior management experience working in the not for profit sector in Ireland and overseas.

Stephen Adams

Has over 36 years in Healthcare management and several voluntary interests have taken much of his time since “retirement”.

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    He Chaired the Tearfund NI National Advisory Committee, and input into the Global Fundraising Committee for Tearfund UK. Stephen works on a voluntary basis for Contemporary Christianity and Irish Baptist Networks and is also on the Board of Third Space (Dublin)  He enjoys hill walking, cooking and gardening!

Francis Wahome

Is the Africa development facilitator with the inspired individuals programme of Tearfund based in Kenya.  

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    He has previously worked for Tearfund as a country director for Sierra Leone and Liberia and as an assistant head of West Africa Region. At Tearfund, Wahome has been a key player developing Church and Community transformation (CCT) as our preferred approach to alleviating poverty. Wahome worked as an agriculturalist with the public service in Kenya for many years before switching to the NGO sector. He is currently a doctorate student in Business Administration with focus on strategic leadership having previously completed a graduate degree study in management and organizational development.

Audrey Carmichael

Was born in Belfast but moved to England when she was 19 and has only recently returned to Northern Ireland.

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    Her working life has involved being a child protection social worker, a fostering and adoption social work manager, a church based development worker, an administrator and development facilitator with Tearfund and some intermittent jobs as a chambermaid in Belgium, a care assistant with adults with learning disabilities and the elderly and 12 years as a foster carer. She has travelled extensively with her work and have lived in Nepal and Belgium as well as in England. She is passionate about justice and loves chocolate!


  • info@thriveireland.org
  • (+44) 28 9073 0068
    (+44) 7749 056403
  • 241 Newtownards Road
    Belfast BT4 1AF