Anvers Housing is led by Chief Executive Barbara O’Connell with the support of the Executive Team of Acquired Brain Injury Ireland.
Co-founder and Chief Executive
Barbara is best known for her vision to create specialist neuro-rehabilitation services in communities throughout Ireland for people living with brain injury. She co-founded Acquired Brain Injury Ireland in 2000 and set up Anvers Housing Association in 2004 (now Anvers Housing). Previously Barbara worked as an Occupational Therapy Manager with the National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) where she pioneered a social reintegration programme for brain injury survivors to bridge the gap between post-acute services and returning home. This experience inspired her to set up a national service to support people on the brain injury pathway, which has since grown to the large national organisation it is today. Barbara holds an MBA in Healthcare and Business from the Smurfit Business School, UCD; qualified in Non-Profit Strategic Management from Harvard Business School; Strategic Decision Making from Harvard Kennedy School; and is a qualified Business and executive coach (Smurfit Business School, UCD). She was also recognised as Social Entrepreneur of the Year by Women Mean Business and National Winner of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Award for Social Enterprise.
Head of Housing and Development
Mary Rose has many years of experience working as a Chartered Surveyor across the property industry in property development, asset management and the housing sectors. Most recently she held the role of Senior Land Manager in a high-volume housebuilder PLC, where she was responsible for large housing projects.
Her vast experience with both blue-chip organisations in Ireland and the UK, in the private and within the non-profit sector, gives her the skills to help reach the strategic vision for Acquired Brian Injury Ireland’s housing needs.
A graduate of UCD Michael Smurfit Business School with an MA in Management and Business, and Heriot Watt University with a BSc Hons in Property Estate Management, her combination of business and property background compliment her role as the Head of Housing and Development. In her free time Mary Rose is a keen golfer, paddleboarder, skier and loves the outdoors with her daughter when given the opportunity.
Helen joined Acquired Brain Injury Ireland / Anvers Housing as Property Manager in 2017. In her role she has responsibility for reviewing the current and future property requirements of the organisation, as well as managing its expansive property portfolio across the country.
In particular, her work focuses on project management, lease negotiations, maintenance and planning, and development of grant submissions. She also works to ensure positive, productive relationships with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, the HSE, ICSH and Disability Groups, among other key stakeholders.
Helen is an active member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. Having worked in the property industry for over 20 years, she has extensive experience in property/facilities management and the provision of housing for people with a brain injury. She has a keen interest in social housing policy development in Ireland and abroad, and is committed to providing sustainable homes that are environmentally-focused and future-proofed.
Accessible housing is extremely hard to come by for individuals with a physical disability in Ireland. Existing housing stock often fails to meet the standard of accessibility required and, more often than not, it is costly to adapt these properties. Helen is eager to explore an approach to meet the needs of people with acquired brain injury, to ensure they have access to quality and sustainable homes that allow them to live independent lives in a homely environment.
Head of Service Operations
Having worked in the disability sector in Ireland since 2006, Karen has a vast amount of experience in case management and the management of community services, residential and respite services. Karen has a PhD from Trinity College, a Postgraduate qualification in Healthcare Management from IPA, and is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer accredited by the Brain Injury Association of America.
As Head of Service Operations at Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Karen is driven to ensure that the organisation provides services of the highest quality, which are in line with international evidence-based best practice. Karen engages with a number of working groups nationally which aim to advocate for equitable and quality services across Ireland for those with an acquired brain injury. Karen also recently joined Disability Federation of Ireland as a Board Member.
Head of Finance
Jim joined Acquired Brain Injury Ireland as Head of Finance in May 2022. Having worked in the accountancy profession, major retail, and having held senior positions in the pharmaceutical, education and hospitality sectors, Jim brings a depth and breadth of experience to the role from a career spanning over 30 years.
Communications and Engagement Manager
Aoife has more than a decade’s experience working in the areas of strategic and internal communications, stakeholder relations, marketing and publicity in the community and cultural sectors. Most recently she held the role of Communications and Marketing Manager at Ireland’s national music education programme, Music Generation, and previously worked with leading national and international cultural organisations including Dublin Theatre Festival, the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Canadian Stage and the Abbey Theatre.
A graduate of Trinity College with a degree in Drama Studies and English Literature, Aoife has since completed a Certificate in Management Practice with the University of Ulster and a Certificate in Community Education and Equality Studies at Maynooth University. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, swimming in the sea and spending time with family.
Head of People and Culture
Austin brings over thirty years’ experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sector to his role as Head of People and Culture. He has extensive experience in people management and employment law. Austin has a passion for creating a values-based workplace culture that supports the mission and vision of the organisation.
For the past twenty years Austin has held senior roles in the not-for-profit sector, most recently as Director of Resources at WALK. In this time, he led the HR team to win CIPD awards in Building a Values Based Culture and Embedding a Culture of Workplace Well-being.
As Head of People and Culture at Acquired Brain Injury Ireland, Austin is also responsible for ensuring that staff have access to the best learning and development opportunities, and that the organisation’s learning and development strategy supports a quality, person-centred service. Beyond the workplace, Austin has a keen interest in early education for children from disadvantaged communities and manages a local soccer team.
Research and Policy Manager
Gráinne is responsible for the strategic development of the research and policy agenda. She has spent her career to date working in the fields of disability, older people and dementia. She works at the exciting interface of policy, research and advocacy and has extensive experience and knowledge from a variety of advocacy and campaigning organisations in the community and voluntary sector.
She holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Master of Arts in Social Policy. In her free time, Gráinne enjoys the great outdoors, hill-walking, travelling, a bit of gardening and spending time with family.
Head of Fundraising
With over 16 years of fundraising and marketing experience, Jonathan’s expertise spans the not-for-profit, FMCG and online sectors including an understanding of global overseas development as well as the domestic NGO environment. Jonathan’s donor-first approach drives a dynamic fundraising strategy to maximise financial returns from supporters and generate data. He is passionate about developing sustainable growth for the organisation. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys running, sports, movies and computer games.
Our team are here to answer your questions. Call us on 01 280 4164 or send a message