The executive directive team within The Hummingbird Project have been working within the Mental Health voluntary sector for over 20 years. We have been providing training, developing programmes and giving support to the mental health family, which has not only provided us with some amazing professional skills, but has also given us an incredible insight into what works to help individuals recover and the struggles individuals may face in accessing quality support.

Executive Team


Leigh Carey – Executive Director
Leigh received her Ba. Hons in Communication in 2003 in Edinburgh and came back home to Northern Ireland in 2004. She has been working since 2007 to help people improve their own circumstances, despite many of them facing difficult environmental and health barriers, through individual mentoring and group training. She has worked on several groundbreaking statutory agency funded programmes in socially deprived areas of the country in the training and voluntary sector. She worked for several years with marginalised young people before specialising in Mental health and wellbeing support in the last 5 years. She has gained thousands of hours of one to one therapeutic support experience, developed a large portfolio of accredited vocational training and continuously works in partnership with statutory health and social care bodies to embrace and promote recovery focused practices. Contact Leigh at

Jill Huston – Service Operations Lead


Jill graduated from Queens’s University, Belfast in 1993 with a BSc. Hons Psychology. Since then, she has worked in management in the third sector with organisations such as Oxfam and Action Mental Health and in web pioneers such as Nua and Marrakech. She has been involved in designing and delivering training to adults from all backgrounds and is an advocate for life-long learning. Jill brings extensive lived-experience of mental health issues to the Hummingbird and has successfully combined this with professional training to work at the forefront of innovation in mental health recovery. As a trained WRAP® facilitator, Jill advocates for recovery and resilience principles in all walks of life. She believes passionately that individuals hold the key to their own emotional wellbeing and has been involved with the development of the unique 3U model used by the organisation. Contact Jill at

James McAleese – Service Development Lead

Jimmy graduated from Queens University Belfast with a BSc Hons in Biology in 1984 and a PhD in Mycology in 1987.  Until 2013 he occupied a number of middle and senior management positions in a large government department, including periods as Deputy Director (Business Development) and Business Learning Manager in Northern Ireland.  Much of this time was dedicated to change management, training, coaching and mentoring graduate trainees and internal talent.


Throughout his career Jimmy has also held various non-executive Board level positions within the voluntary sector, applying his skills to the strategic development and sustainability of arts, faith group, animal welfare and mental health charities.

With decades of personal lived experience of managing a mental health condition, Jimmy has been a strong advocate for recovery-orientated practice in mental healthcare over the last 5 years. He was a member of the project team involved in establishing the highly successful Northern Region Recovery College within mental health services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.  A trained WRAP® facilitator, he has also helped to co-produce and co-facilitate a broad range of other mental health workshops within the college’s prospectus.

He was most recently employed as a Peer Support Worker in an acute admissions psychiatric ward and has acted as an adviser to The Hummingbird Project CIC for several years before taking up a formal Board position in 2018.

Non- Executive Board Team

Colin Flinn — Chair 


Colin Flinn LLB, a retired solicitor, is currently a board member of Cara-Friend and former Chair, a former board member of Community Change, Vice Chair of Shopmobility Belfast, a board member of AgeNI and Chair of its Consultative Forum and a Peer Facilitator with Age NI, a member of the Equality Consultative Forum of Belfast City Council, former Chair of Helplines Network NI, Hon Secretary of Out&About (NI), a volunteer with Northern Ireland Community of Asylum Seekers and Refugees, Joint Coordinator of City of Sanctuary, Belfast, Joint Coordinator of LGBT Awareness Week NI and Convenor of LGBT Irish Presbyterians. Colin brings to The Hummingbird Project a lifetime of experience in advocacy for the rights of others, grounded in hearing their voiced needs throughout his professional career and through his continuing work in human rights and equality.

Roger Warnock — Vice Chair


A contemporary entrepreneur and recognised social innovator with over twenty-five years in senior management and advisory roles working across the non-profit, government and private sectors.  He is a Clore Social Fellow (2016), a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow (2013), a Fellow of the RSA and hold a Master’s in Business Administration (Strategic Marketing) from the University of Ulster, a Diploma in Management Consulting and was awarded Chartered Manager status in 2012.

His key specialisms are business strategy, inclusive leadership and social innovation with extensive research and programme design undertaken over the last few years both in the United Kingdom and internationally. However, he’s really passionate about two things the first is young people and how we can create brighter and more stable futures for our most marginalised young people. In 2016, he was listed as one of the Top 50 Nesta/Observer New Radicals for his work at the Book Reserve a social enterprise set up to employ young ex-offenders in Belfast. Secondly coming from a business background he’s passionate about corporate social innovation or put simply how we get business to create more social impact and do their part in solving some of our extreme social issues and make the world a better place – not just CSR!

Gillian Creevy – Board member


Gillian Creevy has been Chief Executive of Cancer Fund for Children since 2002. She previously held posts including Director of Central Services for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in London, and Manager of the Child Health Department in Leeds Health Authority.

Since joining Cancer Fund for Children Gillian has successfully combined her passion for healthcare with her entrepreneurial skill to develop and fine-tune the charity’s core range of support, as well as introducing new services to address the previously unmet needs of children and young people affected by cancer.

In response to feedback from families, Gillian helped the charity launch ‘Young Shoulders’ a new programme of support for children who have a parent diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Under Gillian’s leadership, the charity officially opened Ireland’s first, and only, therapeutic short break centre for children living with cancer and their families in 2014. She is now spearheading the charity’s plans to provide support to families in the Republic of Ireland.