Ailsa brings a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector, including work on human rights, health, and the environment. Of particular relevance to their new role, Ailsa was the first Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, at a time when EU-wide LGBT legislation was taking effect. They also led the Equality Network in Edinburgh and was Director of the Terrence Higgins Trust in Scotland.
Ailsa’s campaigning for LGBT rights was recognised in 2005 with the Ian Dunn Memorial Award for Activism, nominated by Stonewall Scotland and awarded by Pride Scotia.
When not campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights, Ailsa enjoys a number of outdoor pursuits, including rugby, cycling, boats, and walking, and for many years was a keen balloon pilot. The move to Cork will, hopefully, enable Ailsa to explore their Irish roots and become part of the vibrant community in South West Ireland.
Michael O Donnell is the Community Development Worker with the Gay Project. He develops, supports and maintains a wide range of social, sporting and cultural community groups. In doing this work he has overseen the establishment of over 10 community groups in the region. Michael works from a strengths based and community empowerment approach. His grass roots philosophy involves establishing group structures and imparting skills so that community groups may take leadership and determine their own goals and objectives overtime.
Michael was formerly the Volunteer Manager with the Gay Project and during this time established the Volunteer Programme currently in place. See here for reference. Michael has delivered numerous trainings in the area of Diversity and Inclusion ranging from short one-hour sessions to longer more experiential workshops.
Michael does a large degree of Public Relations work with the Gay Project and in the past has been published in several newspapers and magazines such as Yay Cork, The Echo, The Kerryman, The Kerry’s Eye, Gay Community News, The Journal.ie and others.
Michael has made numerous successful grant applications with the Gay Project ranging from small grants of several hundered euro to large scale grants.
Michael is the first-ever LGBT Rep on the Cork Drug and Alcohol Taskforce and served on the Cork Pride Committee in the year 2020. One of his proudest achievements in his work is the establishment of a Men’s Health Campaign in 2019 which brought together men from across the community and community to work together, raising awareness of Men’s Health and raising over €4,000 in the process.
Prior to his time working wth the LGBT+ Community Michael worked in a wide range of populations including people with disabilities, older people, youth groups, Occupational Therapy as well as doing environmental voluntary work in VIC, Australia in 2013. Michael graduated from University College Cork with a 1:1 in Social Science. He is currently aiming to complete his Master’s Degree from UCC. Michael is from Listowel, Co. Kerry originally but has spent most of his adult life in Cork and loves an adventure with his partner Thomas.
Konrad Im is a Lead Volunteer with the Gay Project. He’s a former Mr Gay Cork and Mr Gay Ireland, that now produces the annual heats in search of future LGBT+ advocates. Konrad is currently studying Community Development is CIT where he is also Class Rep and the Chairperson of CIT LGBT* Society. He is also Volunteer Youth Leader for UP Cork LGBT Youth Group and Volunteer Coordinator for Cork Pride Festival as well as being heavily involved in the organisation of the Cork Pride Festival events while also finding the time to volunteer with the Sexual Health Centre Cork, St. Vincent De Paul and other community organisations. He’s passionate and dedicated to creating a society that is fair and inclusive for all and believes that any one person can make a change, no matter how big or small.
Karen is Communications Officer with the Gay Project as part of her Work Placement and helps out with the community centres daily running. Karen is a mom of three who has been active in many community groups in Corks Northside over the past few years. She enjoys reading and jewellery making in her spare time.