Meet the team

The ONSIDE project is a cross border project led by Disability Action NI in partnership with the Northern Ireland Housing Executive; the Independent Living Movement Ireland; and Supporting Communities.  We adopt a pan disability approach: working with people with physical, sensory, learning, mental health or hidden disabilities.

Disability Action is lead partner of the project and each project partner has a dedicated staff team committed to the ONSIDE project who will work together toward the delivery of the project. 

Our team comprises of: The Project Management Board, Operational Managers, Programme Administrator, Finance Officer, Communications Officer, Research Co-ordinator, Peer Advocacy Co-ordinators, Disability Housing Officers, Community Navigators and Digital Product Developer.

Orla McCann, Project Manager

Orla is Project Manager of the ONSIDE Project, she has over 25 years’ experience in working for equality for all, notably lobbying for best practice in accessibility in the built environment, transport, and housing. Orla has strong relationships within the community sector and has a strong believe in co-design, co-production and in the social model of disability.  

Disability Action has been working since 2017 with our partners to set up the ONSIDE project that identifies that social isolation is a critical concern amongst the disabled community and is aimed to address the lack of connections that some disabled people experience. 

Project Management Board

Andrea Brown

Andrea Brown

Project Board Member

Andrea is Chief Executive Officer of Disability Action since March 2020. Andrea has a wealth of business experience and expertise in varied roles in Finance & Corporate Services with DA since 2003.  

Damien Walsh

Damien Walsh

Project Board member

Damien is Chief Executive of Independent Living Movement Ireland (ILMI), a campaigning, national representative organisation that promotes the philosophy of independent living and to build an inclusive society.

Colm McDaid

Colm McDaid

Project Board member

Colm is Chief Exeuctive of Supporting Communities, an independent development organisation offering advice, support and training to new and existing community/residents groups, statutory and voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland.

Helen Russell

Helen Russell

Project Board member

Helen is a Senior Manager at Northern Ireland Housing Executive where she advises on various aspects of the delivery of housing services to their customers. 

What We Do
Get involved
Peer Volunteers