CILNI held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at the Crumlin Road Gaol in Belfast. It was pleasing to see a good turnout of members and friends at this very interesting venue.

After the necessary business of the organisation had been conducted, including the presentation of the Annual Report for 2015/2016, the meeting moved on to the more interesting parts of the meeting:

1.     Our Assistant Director, Bryan Myles, presented the organisation’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2019. Entitled “Working Together to Enhance Independence”, the plan sets out the intended direction for CILNI over the current three-year period together with clear aims and objectives. The development of the plan demonstrates our continuing commitment to promoting the independence of all disabled people through the delivery of services which meet their specific needs, together with the expectations of our funding partners. To read the Strategic Plan, please click here.

2.     Our good friend, Aiden McCullagh, who has been working on the development of Self-Directed Support since the initial pilot project in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust area shared with the meeting one example of how self-directed support can make a life enhancing improvement. What made it an unusually thought-provoking, moving and personal presentation was that the people benefiting from the support were Aidan’s own elderly parents.

3.     Our Chairperson, Mike Hendra had recently informed the board of his intention to step down from this position which he has held since CILNI was established in 2001. In recognition of the dedication and wisdom with which Mike has led CILNI over its first 16 years, Ronan Murray (who has served with Mike as a board member since 2001) presented him with a Certificate of Service. There will be a further event very shortly, in which a more tangible appreciation (currently on order) will be presented to Mike by fellow board members and staff. We are delighted that Mike has agreed to continue serving as a member of the board of management, alongside his wife Angela.

After the meeting, a number of attendees were able to enjoy a very informative and atmospheric tour of the Gaol.