OUR TEAM

Meet the Festina Lente team

Jennifer Gillespie – HR & Operations Executive

Jennifer Gillespie – HR & Operations Executive

Jennifer is responsible for all queries related to operations, facilities and infrastructure. She is also the point of contact for volunteer and work experience applications and manages the general administration of the organisation, Health and Safety and Garda Vetting. In addition, she coordinates HR queries and HR administration. Needless to say, she is kept very busy here at Festina Lente, which she likes. Jennifer has a background in education and academia with a BA and MA in English and is also a creative writer. She enjoys gardening her allotment here at Festina Lente; sea swims down at the Bray seafront, and long walks in the hills.

Jennifer is responsible for all queries related to operations, facilities and infrastructure. She is also the point of contact for volunteer and work experience applications and manages the general administration of the organisation, Health and Safety and Garda Vetting. In addition, she coordinates HR queries and HR administration. Needless to say, she is kept very busy here at Festina Lente, which she likes. Jennifer has a background in education and academia with a BA and MA in English and is also a creative writer. She enjoys gardening her allotment here at Festina Lente; sea swims down at the Bray seafront, and long walks in the hills.

Andrea O’Donoghue – Marketing Executive

Andrea O’Donoghue – Social Media Executive

Andrea is responsible for all our social media platforms and ensures there is a constant flow of updates, photos, news and video content to keep our audience happy. She also manages external marketing for Festina Lente, as well as event management throughout the year. Andrea arranges our many interns and work experience placements for Transition Year students, and is a trained Therapeutic Equestrian Coach through Festina Lente and is able to help out in this area as required. She is the tutor for the business and marketing modules in our QQI Level 6 programmes. Her favourite part of working at Festina Lente is working with such a variety of people daily – as a people person, this makes her very happy! Andrea is a trained sound engineer and an experienced rider. She has two daughters who keep her busy outside of work, and to add to her varied skill set, she’s recently trained as a qualified mediator.

Andrea is responsible for all our social media platforms and ensures there is a constant flow of updates, photos, news and video content to keep our audience happy. She also manages external marketing for Festina Lente, as well as event management throughout the year. Andrea arranges our many interns and work experience placements for Transition Year students, and is a trained Therapeutic Equestrian Coach through Festina Lente and is able to help out in this area as required. She is the tutor for the business and marketing modules in our QQI Level 6 programmes. Her favourite part of working at Festina Lente is working with such a variety of people daily – as a people person, this makes her very happy! Andrea is a trained sound engineer and an experienced rider. She has two daughters who keep her busy outside of work, and to add to her varied skill set, she’s recently trained as a qualified mediator.

Clodagh Carey – Equestrian Centre Manager

Clodagh Carey – Equestrian Learning Centre Manager

Clodagh has worked at Festina Lente since 1996 and has a wealth of knowledge about its history, horses and clients. She manages the timetables and operations of the Equestrian school and works with the coaches to provide amazing learning experiences for riders of all ages and abilities. Clodagh also assists with the schooling of horses. She manages the vaulting programme with a team of 20 vaulters who are coached twice a week. Clodagh has a BHSII qualification, is qualified as a psycho-educational vaulting coach and is a BEV and EVI Vaulting Coach. Outside of Festina Lente, Clodagh enjoys spending time with her family, including her dog and two cats, and she takes great care of her garden.

Clodagh has worked at Festina Lente since 1996 and has a wealth of knowledge about its history, horses and clients. She manages the timetables and operations of the Equestrian school and works with the coaches to provide amazing learning experiences for riders of all ages and abilities. Clodagh also  assists with the schooling of horses. She manages the vaulting programme with a team of 20 vaulters who are coached twice a week. Clodagh has a BHSII qualification, is qualified as a psycho-educational vaulting coach and is a BEV and EVI Vaulting Coach. Outside of Festina Lente, Clodagh enjoys spending time with her family, including her dog and two cats, and she takes great care of her garden.

Jim Mernin – Head of Coaching

Jim Mernin – Head of Coaching

Jim works with riders from beginner level through to advanced and takes term lessons, private lessons and therapeutic lessons for riders of all ages. He encourages all of his students to be brave and extend their comfort zones and aims for all his clients to feel confident to have a go and try new things. Jim approaches coaching with three keywords: empathy, acceptance and awareness, and aims to build confidence and skills.

Jim also provides peer coaching to the rest of the coaching team, is part of the teaching team for the Equestrian Training Programme, and assesses the students taking part in our Therapeutic Coaching Course programme. Jim loves seeing his students’ delight when they’ve achieved their goals and expanded their horizon, and he loves working with such dedicated and talented riders.

Jim has a BHS Stage 4 qualification, a Young Horse Breeding and Training Certificate, and is a Tag Teach International Level 1 Coach. Outside of work, Jim is a keen sportsman, playing rugby and hurling, and also enjoys music and motorcycles. He also loves getting out on the Shannon River with his family.

Jim works with riders from beginner level through to advanced and takes term lessons, private lessons and therapeutic lessons for riders of all ages. He encourages all of his students to be brave and extend their comfort zones and aims for all his clients to feel confident to have a go and try new things. Jim approaches coaching with three keywords: empathy, acceptance and awareness, and aims to build confidence and skills.

Jim also provides peer coaching to the rest of the coaching team, is part of the teaching team for the Equestrian Training Programme, and assesses the students taking part in our Therapeutic Coaching Course programme. Jim loves seeing his students’ delight when they’ve achieved their goals and expanded their horizon, and he loves working with such dedicated and talented riders.

Jim has a BHS Stage 4 qualification, a Young Horse Breeding and Training Certificate, and is a Tag Teach International Level 1 Coach. Outside of work, Jim is a keen sportsman, playing rugby and hurling, and also enjoys music and motorcycles. He also loves getting out on the Shannon River with his family.

Roisin Cameron Gregory – Supported Helper Programme and EFEP Facilitator

Roisin’s role at Festina Lente is Supported Helper Programme and EFEP Facilitator.The Supported Helper Programme caters for children, teenagers or adults with special needs and involves them in everyday equine care tasks, like mucking out stables, grooming, preparing feeds and other areas associated with the care and management of ponies and horses.

The Equestrian Facilitated Education Programme (EFEP) is run every weekday morning and involves up to three young people. They come to the centre to work alongside Roisin and the horses and ponies. Working together as part of a team, they spend the morning caring for the ponies, gardening and having fun in the arts and crafts room.

Roisin has her BHS Stage 2 qualification and Degree in Applied Social Studies. She combines her experience and love for horses with her social care worker background to plan and deliver fun ways of learning and developing new skills and achievements.

At home, Roisin enjoys going horse riding with her children and walking her two dogs Amba and Bonnie.

Roisin Cameron Gregory – Supported Helper Programme and EFEP Facilitator

Roisin’s role at Festina Lente is Supported Helper Programme and EFEP Facilitator.The Supported Helper Programme caters for children, teenagers or adults with special needs and involves them in everyday equine care tasks, like mucking out stables, grooming, preparing feeds and other areas associated with the care and management of ponies and horses.

The Equestrian Facilitated Education Programme (EFEP) is run every weekday morning and involves up to three young people. They come to the centre to work alongside Roisin and the horses and ponies. Working together as part of a team, they spend the morning caring for the ponies, gardening and having fun in the arts and crafts room.

Roisin has her BHS Stage 2 qualification and Degree in Applied Social Studies. She combines her experience and love for horses with her social care worker background to plan and deliver fun ways of learning and developing new skills and achievements.

At home, Roisin enjoys going horse riding with her children and walking her two dogs Amba and Bonnie.

Tara Barrett – Yard Manager

Tara Barrett – Yard Manager

Tara manages the daily operation of our equestrian yard. This includes overseeing all the varied activities that the riding school accommodates, organising farriers and vets, ordering supplies, ensuring each of our horses and ponies have their specific needs met.  She also maintains the rosters for staff, helpers and volunteers. Tara has completed the BHS Stage 2 Complete Horsemanship and Teach, is a qualified therapeutic equestrian coach and has a Level 6 in Social Care and Psychology.  Her favourite aspect of her job is the variety of the day to day of the yard and working with all of the clients, staff and horses at Festina Lente. Outside of work, Tara enjoys yoga, baking and bringing her three dogs for walks.

Tara manages the daily operation of our equestrian yard. This includes overseeing all the varied activities that the equestrian school accommodates, organising farriers and vets, ordering supplies, ensuring each of our horses and ponies have their specific needs met.  She also maintains the rosters for staff, helpers and volunteers. Tara has completed the BHS Stage 2 Complete Horsemanship and Teach, is a qualified therapeutic equestrian coach and has a Level 6 in Social Care and Psychology.  Her favourite aspect of her job is the variety of the day to day of the yard and working with all of the clients, staff and horses at Festina Lente. Outside of work, Tara enjoys yoga, baking and bringing her three dogs for walks.

Tinisha Byrne – Equestrian Coach

Tinisha Byrne – Equestrian Coach

Tinisha works with our mainstream riding school clients, taking both group riding lessons and private lessons. She teaches riders of all ages and teaches skills from flatwork to games, jumping and more. She also takes stable management classes, where she teaches students all they need to know about working with horses on the ground.  Working in the yard and schooling the horses and ponies is one of her favourite parts of her role. Tinisha has BHS qualifications at levels 1, 2 and 3, as well as a road riding safety certificate. Outside of Festina Lente, she is a keen hiker and practices yoga regularly while also loving horse riding!

Tinisha works with our mainstream riding school clients, taking both group riding lessons and private lessons. She teaches riders of all ages and teaches skills from flatwork to games, jumping and more. She also takes stable management classes, where she teaches students all they need to know about working with horses on the ground.  Working in the yard and schooling the horses and ponies is one of her favourite parts of her role. Tinisha has BHS qualifications at levels 1, 2 and 3, as well as a road riding safety certificate. Outside of Festina Lente, she is a keen hiker and practices yoga regularly while also loving horse riding!

Paula O’Sullivan – Yard Supervisor and Equestrian Coach

Paula O’Sullivan – Yard Supervisor and Equestrian Coach

Paula has a multi-faceted role at Festina Lente and has a busy schedule across our equestrian activities. In the morning, she supervises the practical work completed by the Equestrian Training Programme students, from mucking out to grooming and tacking up. In the afternoons, she coaches in the riding school, sharing her extensive equestrian knowledge with students of all ages. Paula has an HSI Level 1 qualification and, outside of work, enjoys adding to her collection of Charlie Bears.

Paula has a multi-faceted role at Festina Lente and has a busy schedule across our equestrian activities. In the morning, she supervises the practical work completed by the Equestrian Training Programme students, from mucking out to grooming and tacking up. In the afternoons, she coaches in the riding school, sharing her extensive equestrian knowledge with students of all ages. Paula has an HSI Level 1 qualification and, outside of work, enjoys adding to her collection of Charlie Bears.

Natalie Keating – Senior Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Natalie Keating – Senior Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Natalie works with our clients with additional needs as our Senior Therapeutic Riding Coach, as well as teaching mainstream lessons. She runs up to 8 lessons a day with children of all ages and needs, working closely with their families to improve physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural skills. She facilitates sections of the Therapeutic Coaching training programme offered at Festina Lente and works with our team of volunteers to develop their skills and understanding of therapeutic riding and its benefits. Natalie works closely with our team of horses and ponies to ensure their schooling is well balanced and consistent. At home, Natalie enjoys keeping fit by going to the gym and practicing yoga, as well as hiking. She is also a keen baker!

Natalie works with our clients with additional needs as our Senior Therapeutic Riding Coach, as well as teaching mainstream lessons. She runs up to 8 lessons a day with children of all ages and needs, working closely with their families to improve physical, emotional, cognitive and behavioural skills. She facilitates sections of the Therapeutic Coaching training programme offered at Festina Lente and works with our team of volunteers to develop their skills and understanding of therapeutic riding and its benefits. Natalie works closely with our team of horses and ponies to ensure their schooling is well balanced and consistent. At home, Natalie enjoys keeping fit by going to the gym and practicing yoga, as well as hiking. She is also a keen baker!

Joanna (Jo) Brooks – Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Joanna (Jo) Brooks – Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Jo’s role sees her providing sessions of therapeutic riding for children and adults with a variety of additional needs. Her extensive qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology, TEFL teacher and EAL and Therapeutic Coaching Facilitator certificates, all of which she draws from to create engaging and meaningful sessions. She also manages the workload of our hard-working horses, ensuring they all have plentiful time for rest in between their sessions. Jo’s favourite parts of her role are getting to team up with a horse and spend one-on-one time with them and some really special kids and the knowledge that this makes a big difference in their week. Outside of Festina Lente, she loves spending time with her own kids, especially watching movies together, and loves anything to do with Spain – language, food, culture!

Jo’s role sees her providing sessions of therapeutic riding for children and adults with a variety of additional needs. Her extensive qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology, TEFL teacher and EAL and Therapeutic Coaching Facilitator certificates, all of which she draws from to create engaging and meaningful sessions. She also manages the workload of our hard-working horses, ensuring they all have plentiful time for rest in between their sessions. Jo’s favourite parts of her role are getting to team up with a horse and spend one-on-one time with them and some really special kids and the knowledge that this makes a big difference in their week. Outside of Festina Lente, she loves spending time with her own kids, especially watching movies together, and loves anything to do with Spain – language, food, culture!

Gabrielle O’Regan – Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Gabrielle O’Regan – Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Gabrielle is one of our team of experienced coaches, working in both therapeutic and mainstream lessons. Her role involves planning and organizing riding lesson plans for individuals with particular therapeutic needs.  She also works with groups from beginners through to advanced riders. Gabrielle also works in the yard, ensuring our hard-working horses and ponies are fed, groomed and ready to go before their lessons. She holds an Irish Certificate of Equestrian Studies and is currently studying towards her Certificate in Therapeutic Riding Coaching. Outside of work, Gabrielle loves swimming in the sea, practicing yoga and walking her two dogs.

Gabrielle is one of our team of experienced coaches, working in both therapeutic and mainstream lessons. Her role involves planning and organizing riding lesson plans for individuals with particular therapeutic needs.  She also works with groups from beginners through to advanced riders. Gabrielle also works in the yard, ensuring our hard-working horses and ponies are fed, groomed and ready to go before their lessons. She holds an Irish Certificate of Equestrian Studies and is currently studying towards her Certificate in Therapeutic Riding Coaching. Outside of work, Gabrielle loves swimming in the sea, practicing yoga and walking her two dogs.

Suzanne Rice – Equine Assisted Learning and Outreach Programme Facilitator

Suzanne Rice – Equine Assisted Learning and Outreach Programme Facilitator

Suzanne runs sessions with young adults, children and corporate clients in Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) with the goal of facilitating new opportunities for growth and learning. If not ‘at the moment’ with clients and horses in one of our arenas, she is focused on managing the busy schedules of our two miniature Shetland ponies, providing an Outreach Service to schools, mental health hospitals and nursing homes. Suzanne holds a BA Hons Degree in History and Philosophy, a Diploma in Natural Horsemanship and a FETAC Level 6 in EAL Facilitation. She provides examination support to our QQI Level 6 EAL Facilitator Training Programme and helps deliver the Festina Lente EAL Facilitator Training programme overseas. When not in Festina Lente, Suzanne loves being in nature. Whether hiking in the Irish countryside with her dogs or tracking wildlife across Canada’s BC Coast, she is always happiest with animals by her side!

Suzanne runs sessions with young adults, children and corporate clients in Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) with the goal of facilitating new opportunities for growth and learning. If not ‘at the moment’ with clients and horses in one of our arenas, she is focused on managing the busy schedules of our two miniature Shetland ponies, providing an Outreach Service to schools, mental health hospitals and nursing homes. Suzanne holds a BA Hons Degree in History and Philosophy, a Diploma in Natural Horsemanship and a FETAC Level 6 in EAL Facilitation. She provides examination support to our QQI Level 6 EAL Facilitator Training Programme and helps deliver the Festina Lente EAL Facilitator Training programme overseas. When not in Festina Lente, Suzanne loves being in nature. Whether hiking in the Irish countryside with her dogs or tracking wildlife across Canada’s BC Coast, she is always happiest with animals by her side!

Joey McGill – Maintenance Officer

Joey McGill – Maintenance Officer

Joey is our encyclopaedia of Festina Lente and is an absolute treasure trove of skills and information to keep our facility running. He works all over the site fixing and maintaining areas ensuring that we have a well-functioning place to work or visit. He has a background in farrier work, as well as training in saddlery, and also assists with our vaulting teams. Joey’s favourite part of working at Festina Lente is seeing how our clients grow as they learn at Festina Lente. He is a keen cyclist and practices leatherworking in his time off.

Joey is our encyclopaedia of Festina Lente and is an absolute treasure trove of skills and information to keep our facility running. He works all over the site fixing and maintaining areas ensuring that we have a well-functioning place to work or visit. He has a background in farrier work, as well as training in saddlery, and also assists with our vaulting teams. Joey’s favourite part of working at Festina Lente is seeing how our clients grow as they learn at Festina Lente. He is a keen cyclist and practices leatherworking in his time off.

Sarah White – Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Sarah White – Therapeutic Equestrian Coach

Sarah uses her background in Applied Social Studies and her Therapeutic Riding Coach certification to plan and deliver therapeutic riding lessons to clients with additional needs. She works closely with the client and their supporters to create fun and engaging lessons which help each client to reach their individual goals.  She also works across the yard, schooling horses, mucking out and giving stable management lessons. Sarah’s favourite part of her role is getting the opportunity to work with so many amazing children and seeing first-hand the joy being with the horses gives them.  She also loves getting the chance to work outside. Sarah is a trained dog groomer and animal healthcare assistant.  Unsurprisingly, outside of work, Sarah loves horse riding, as well as cooking, reading and yoga.

Sarah uses her background in Applied Social Studies and her Therapeutic Riding Coach certification to plan and deliver therapeutic riding lessons to clients with additional needs. She works closely with the client and their supporters to create fun and engaging lessons which help each client to reach their individual goals.  She also works across the yard, schooling horses, mucking out and giving stable management lessons. Sarah’s favourite part of her role is getting the opportunity to work with so many amazing children and seeing first-hand the joy being with the horses gives them.  She also loves getting the chance to work outside. Sarah is a trained dog groomer and animal healthcare assistant.  Unsurprisingly, outside of work, Sarah loves horse riding, as well as cooking, reading and yoga.

Francesca Hennessy – ETP Supervisor / EAL Facilitator

Francesca Hennessy – ETP Supervisor / EAL Facilitator

Working for Festina Lente was a dream come true for me as it combines my love of horses and my desire to help people develop and grow on a personal level.  Before joining the team in 2020, I volunteered with Festina for four years with the EAL and Outreach programmes, giving me great experience for my own EAL sessions. I have a real passion for equine welfare, and I love helping our students and clients to make meaningful connections with horses. In my spare time, I also run a healing clinic for horses and humans, combining energy and shamanic work with essential oils, tuning forks and colour therapy.

Working for Festina Lente was a dream come true for me as it combines my love of horses and my desire to help people develop and grow on a personal level.  Before joining the team in 2020, I volunteered with Festina for four years with the EAL and Outreach programmes, giving me great experience for my own EAL sessions. I have a real passion for equine welfare, and I love helping our students and clients to make meaningful connections with horses. In my spare time, I also run a healing clinic for horses and humans, combining energy and shamanic work with essential oils, tuning forks and colour therapy.

Kevin O’Neill – Yard Assistant

Kevin O’Neill – Yard Assistant

Kevin works across a range of the equestrian yard’s activities. You could find him mucking out stables, undertaking general maintenance around the site, leading horses for therapeutic lessons and whatever else needs to be done each day! He particularly enjoys leading therapeutic lessons, learning the equitation science techniques and putting these into practice. Kevin completed the Equestrian Training Programme here at Festina Lente and also has a BHS qualification in riding and road safety. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys ballroom dancing and gardening (although he is less keen on weeding!)

Kevin works across a range of the equestrian yard’s activities. You could find him mucking out stables, undertaking general maintenance around the site, leading horses for therapeutic lessons and whatever else needs to be done each day! He particularly enjoys leading therapeutic lessons, learning the equitation science techniques and putting these into practice. Kevin completed the Equestrian Training Programme here at Festina Lente and also has a BHS qualification in riding and road safety. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys ballroom dancing and gardening (although he is less keen on weeding!)

Amy Gannon – Yard Assistant/Therapeutic Leader

Amy Gannon – Yard Assistant/Therapeutic Leader

Amy started at Festina Lente in 2012 when she began the Transition Training Programme and followed that by completing the Equestrian Training Programme. In September 2018, she was offered her dream role where she gets to work with the horses and their riders all week.  Amy particularly enjoys leading the horses and ponies for children taking lessons. She also loves using the Equissage on horses and ponies. Amy is a keen horse rider and particularly loves Henry (especially cantering and jumping!). She is an accomplished bodhran player and enjoys walking her dog, Lulu.

Amy started at Festina Lente in 2012 when she began the Transition Training Programme and followed that by completing the Equestrian Training Programme. In September 2018, she was offered her dream role where she gets to work with the horses and their riders all week.  Amy particularly enjoys leading the horses and ponies for children taking lessons. She also loves using the Equissage on horses and ponies. Amy is a keen horse rider and particularly loves Henry (especially cantering and jumping!). She is an accomplished bodhran player and enjoys walking her dog, Lulu.

Sally Duffy – Yard Assistant

Sally Duffy – Yard Assistant

Sally has been working with the Equestrian Learning Centre for over 20 years. Sally is a valued staff member.
Sally loves working with the smaller ponies and loves to lunge and do handwork with them as a form of exercise. Sally has participated in the Special Olympic Competition on a number of occasions in Greece and Abu Dhabi, bringing home both gold and silver and bronze medals.

Sally has been working with the Equestrian Learning Centre for over 20 years. Sally is a valued staff member. Sally loves working with the smaller ponies and loves to lunge and do handwork with them as a form of exercise. Sally has participated in the Special Olympic Competition on a number of occasions in Greece and Abu Dhabi, bringing home both gold and silver and bronze medals.

Donal Smyth – Yard Assistant

Donal Smyth – Yard Assistant

Donal has been working in Festina Lente as a Yard Assistant since December 2020.  He has been involved with Festina since mid- 2016 as a volunteer and also as a student on the Equine Training Programme, where he achieved a Level 4 and 5 Horsemanship award. His job role involves bringing horses to and from the field, mucking out stables, preparing horses for lessons and assisting with the general up-keep of the yard.  He particularly enjoys preparing the horses feeds. When not working, Donal enjoys playing video games, is a keen writer and likes to go on quiet strolls.

Donal has been working in Festina Lente as a Yard Assistant since December 2020.  He has been involved with Festina since mid- 2016 as a volunteer and also as a student on the Equine Training Programme, where he achieved a Level 4 and 5 Horsemanship award. His job role involves bringing horses to and from the field, mucking out stables, preparing horses for lessons and assisting with the general up-keep of the yard.  He particularly enjoys preparing the horses feeds. When not working, Donal enjoys playing video games, is a keen writer and likes to go on quiet strolls.

Barry Corcoran – Yard Assistant

Barry works across a range of the equestrian yard’s activities. He can be found mucking out stables, undertaking general maintenance around the site, leading horses for therapeutic lessons and whatever else needs to be done each day! He enjoys all aspects of his work and the variety of tasks he does each day. Barry completed the Equestrian Training Programme here at Festina Lente and also has a BHS qualification in riding and road safety. Outside of work, Barry loves sports and keeping fit and particularly enjoys rugby, football and hurling.

Evelyn Tobin – Yard assistant

Evelyn works in the equestrian yard, and on a daily basis, her main jobs are mucking out, making sure the yard is clean, bringing horses in and out of the field and tacking up for riding lessons.  Evelyn has worked around horses since she was a teenager.  She has a horse and pony, and all her family are horse-obsessed.  In her spare time, she brings her daughter to horse riding competitions, takes her boys to football and if she has any time left!! She loves to go on outings with her family.

Evelyn Tobin – Yard assistant

Evelyn works in the equestrian yard, and on a daily basis, her main jobs are mucking out, making sure the yard is clean, bringing horses in and out of the field and tacking up for riding lessons.  Evelyn has worked around horses since she was a teenager.  She has a horse and pony, and all her family are horse-obsessed.  In her spare time, she brings her daughter to horse riding competitions, takes her boys to football and if she has any time left!! She loves to go on outings with her family.

Glenn Kelly – Yard Assistant

Glenn Kelly – Yard Assistant

Glenn works in our yard, taking care of our horses and ponies. He assists with tasks as varied as grooming and mucking out right through to leading our horses and ponies in their lessons. Glenn completed the Transition Training Programme at Festina Lente before starting in the yard. He loves his role as he is learning new things every day. At home, Glenn loves the outdoors and regularly heads out for a walk or a cycle.

Glenn works in our yard, taking care of our horses and ponies. He assists with tasks as varied as grooming and mucking out right through to leading our horses and ponies in their lessons. Glenn completed the Transition Training Programme at Festina Lente before starting in the yard. He loves his role as he is learning new things every day. At home, Glenn loves the outdoors and regularly heads out for a walk or a cycle.

Sarah O’Grady

Sarah O’Grady

Sarah started helping in Festina Lente Learning Centre when she was 13 years old. Sarah has continued to help until she was 17.  Sarah is now employed as a part time staff member. Sarah works at the weekends facilitating the Supported Helper Programme. Sarah is in collage enjoying studying English History and Maths. In her spare time sarah enjoys spending time with her horse and reading.

Sarah started helping in Festina Lente Learning Centre when she was 13 years old. Sarah has continued to help until she was 17.  Sarah is now employed as a part time staff member. Sarah works at the weekends facilitating the Supported Helper Programme. Sarah is in collage enjoying studying English History and Maths. In her spare time sarah enjoys spending time with her horse and reading.

Aileen Lochrin – Part-time Facilitator Supported Helper Programme

Aileen Lochrin – Part-time Facilitator Supported Helper Programme

Aileen is a part-time facilitator on the Supported Helper Programme with groups and individuals. She has been riding in Festina since she was 6 and has been a helper for nearly 10 years. In recent years Aileen has been helping with therapeutic lessons, which she really enjoys. Aileen is currently studying social science at university.

Aileen is a part-time facilitator on the Supported Helper Programme with groups and individuals. She has been riding in Festina since she was 6 and has been a helper for nearly 10 years. In recent years Aileen has been helping with therapeutic lessons, which she really enjoys. Aileen is currently studying social science at university.

Lucy Greene – Yard Assistant

Lucy Greene – Yard Assistant

Lucy started horse riding in Festina Lente at the age of six. She now works on yard teaching stable management. She also assists with various jobs such as leading, mucking out and field trips. In her free time, Lucy loves spending time by the sea. From rowing to scouts to lifeguarding, you can always find Lucy by the water!

Lucy started horse riding in Festina Lente at the age of six. She now works on yard teaching stable management. She also assists with various jobs such as leading, mucking out and field trips. In her free time, Lucy loves spending time by the sea. From rowing to scouts to lifeguarding, you can always find Lucy by the water!

JP Wixted – Yard Assistant

JP Wixted – Yard Assistant

JP is a familiar face around Festina Lente. After starting his equestrian career in a North Dublin riding school, where he studied for his BHS level 1, JP came to Festina Lente and completed the Equestrian Training Programme. He volunteered in the yard and was then employed as a yard assistant. JP has a varied role in the yard, including leading for both therapeutic and mainstream lessons, as well as grooming, tacking up the horses and bringing them to and from the fields. JP assists with the general yard duties of mucking out and sweeping too. He particularly enjoys leading lessons and feels like Festina Lente is his second family. In his own time, JP leads a very active life, enjoying football, GAA, swimming and running.

JP is a familiar face around Festina Lente. After starting his equestrian career in a North Dublin riding school, where he studied for his BHS level 1, JP came to Festina Lente and completed the Equestrian Training Programme. He volunteered in the yard and was then employed as a yard assistant. JP has a varied role in the yard, including leading for both therapeutic and mainstream lessons, as well as grooming, tacking up the horses and bringing them to and from the fields. JP assists with the general yard duties of mucking out and sweeping too. He particularly enjoys leading lessons and feels like Festina Lente is his second family. In his own time, JP leads a very active life, enjoying football, GAA, swimming and running.

Nicola Wright – Equestrian Learning Centre Administrator

Nicola has worked in Festina Lente since September 2021 and manages the timetables, bookings and general administration for the Equestrian Centre. She enjoys getting to know and working with people from all areas of the organisation. Outside of work Nicola keeps busy, walking her dogs, horse riding and spending time with her family.

Arwen Finch – Equestrian Training Programme Facilitator

Arwen Finch – Equestrian Training Programme Facilitator

Arwen has been a facilitator on the Equestrian Training Programme for over 10 years, providing both the academic and practical training the students require for successful completion of both the Level 4 and Level 5 Horsemanship courses.  She is a British Horse Society trained Riding Instructor, has a Diploma in Social Care and was formally an Architect before choosing to work with horses. She loves working with the students and enjoys supporting them to fulfill their potential, grow professionally and personally and succeed in the Equestrian Industry. Her proudest moments are watching each successive year of students graduate and move forward into employment.  One of her greatest pleasures is her role as a mentor, where she works one to one with the students to achieve their goals, be it in employment, education or their personal lives.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time at home with her two horses, competing up to National Level in Dressage, Showjumping and Showing.  When not with her horses, Arwen savours curling up on the sofa with a good film or book, her partner and two cats.

Arwen has been a facilitator on the Equestrian Training Programme for over 10 years, providing both the academic and practical training the students require for successful completion of both the Level 4 and Level 5 Horsemanship courses.  She is a British Horse Society trained Riding Instructor, has a Diploma in Social Care and was formally an Architect before choosing to work with horses. She loves working with the students and enjoys supporting them to fulfill their potential, grow professionally and personally and succeed in the Equestrian Industry. Her proudest moments are watching each successive year of students graduate and move forward into employment.  One of her greatest pleasures is her role as a mentor, where she works one to one with the students to achieve their goals, be it in employment, education or their personal lives.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time at home with her two horses, competing up to National Level in Dressage, Showjumping and Showing.  When not with her horses, Arwen savours curling up on the sofa with a good film or book, her partner and two cats.

Leanne Swaine – Equestrian Training Programme Facilitator

Leanne Swaine – Equestrian Training Programme Facilitator

Leanne is one of our two ETP Facilitators and works with the students on the course to develop their skills in horsemanship and stable management. She works with the students who are doing level 4 and level 5 qualifications and supervises both their academic work and their practical work on the yard. Leanne loves working with the students and seeing their confidence growing as they work through the course. She particularly enjoys seeing their skills developing, both with horses as well as their social and life skills. Leanne also appreciates that she can bring her adorable dog Popcorn to work, and her daughter is also a regular help in the yard! At home, Leanne loves spending time with family and friends, singing (mostly in the shower), dancing in the kitchen and trying new things.

Leanne is one of our two ETP Facilitators and works with the students on the course to develop their skills in horsemanship and stable management. She works with the students who are doing level 4 and level 5 qualifications and supervises both their academic work and their practical work on the yard. Leanne loves working with the students and seeing their confidence growing as they work through the course. She particularly enjoys seeing their skills developing, both with horses as well as their social and life skills. Leanne also appreciates that she can bring her adorable dog Popcorn to work, and her daughter is also a regular help in the yard! At home, Leanne loves spending time with family and friends, singing (mostly in the shower), dancing in the kitchen and trying new things.

Orlagh McKay – Accounts Manager

Orlagh manages the Accounts team and oversees the finances for Festina Lente, ensuring all is carefully managed from payroll through to expenditure. She works closely with all departments to maintain the accounts and also liaises with students, clients and suppliers to ensure records and payments are up to date. She holds a CPA qualification and also has degrees in Marketing and History. Orlagh particularly enjoys working with the range of people at Festina Lente and getting to meet interesting people every day. She also appreciates being able to bring her dogs to work! At home, Orlagh enjoys reading, spending time with her small hounds, and gardening.

Anjie Mitchell – Accounts Assistant

Anjie Mitchell – Accounts Assistant

Anjie makes sure our finances are up to date and well managed, and in particular, takes payments and enquiries for our riding lessons and pony camps. She enjoys the variety of people she gets to meet through her job, both in person and on the phone. Outside of work, Anjie loves being out for long walks with her Labradoodle, getting stuck into a good novel and not cooking – luckily, her teenagers are starting to get creative in the kitchen!

Anjie makes sure our finances are up to date and well managed, and in particular, takes payments and enquiries for our riding lessons and pony camps. She enjoys the variety of people she gets to meet through her job, both in person and on the phone. Outside of work, Anjie loves being out for long walks with her Labradoodle, getting stuck into a good novel and not cooking – luckily, her teenagers are starting to get creative in the kitchen!

Michelle Kavanagh –  Garden Office Administrator

Michelle Kavanagh –  Garden Office Administrator

Michelle is our officer administrator in our Festina Lente Gardens. Michelle looks after our phone and email enquiries as well as stock management for our Festina Lente Garden shop. She is also responsible for looking after our Allotment holders list and is happy to assist with any enquiries from them. Michelle has worked in administration for over 16 years and loves working in places where she can meet different people and be part of a team .Outside of work, Michelle loves gardening, wildlife and bird watching .She also loves nothing more than getting out on her motorbike during the bright sunny summer days.

Michelle is our officer administrator in our Festina Lente Gardens. Michelle looks after our phone and email enquiries as well as stock management for our Festina Lente Garden shop. She is also responsible for looking after our Allotment holders list and is happy to assist with any enquiries from them. Michelle has worked in administration for over 16 years and loves working in places where she can meet different people and be part of a team .Outside of work, Michelle loves gardening, wildlife and bird watching .She also loves nothing more than getting out on her motorbike during the bright sunny summer days.

Amanda Coffey – Quality in Qualifications Coordinator

Amanda Joined Festina Lente in 2015 with has over 25 years of accounts/administration experience.

Amanda’s current roles in Festina Lente are Account assistant with responsibility for the purchase ledger and QQI administrator for the QQI Courses. In her spare time, Amanda likes walking her crazy golden doodles and sailing.

Patrick Howlett - Horticulturist

Patrick Howlett - Horticulturist

Patrick has a busy schedule here at Festina Lente. In addition to playing a major role in deciding what is planted within our Victorian walled garden, he also is qualifying as a facilitator of our Social Horticultural Therapy course.  Patrick runs workshops for students from some of our local schools and, when we are not in a level 5 lockdown, shares his extensive skills and knowledge of fruit and vegetable growing, garden planning and maintenance with our day service users, community groups, visiting tours and allotment holders.  He manages the allotments, propagates seeds for sale as plants in the shop and mentors volunteers working in the gardens. His favourite part of the role is getting to work with so many different people, from within his team to the whole organisation and the public. In his own time, Patrick enjoys keeping fit, loves music (and is searching for the perfect choir to join!) and travels as much as he can.

Patrick has a busy schedule here at Festina Lente. In addition to playing a major role in deciding what is planted within our Victorian walled garden, he also is qualifying as a facilitator of our Social Horticultural Therapy course.  Patrick runs workshops for students from some of our local schools and, when we are not in a level 5 lockdown, shares his extensive skills and knowledge of fruit and vegetable growing, garden planning and maintenance with our day service users, community groups, visiting tours and allotment holders.  He manages the allotments, propagates seeds for sale as plants in the shop and mentors volunteers working in the gardens. His favourite part of the role is getting to work with so many different people, from within his team to the whole organisation and the public. In his own time, Patrick enjoys keeping fit, loves music (and is searching for the perfect choir to join!) and travels as much as he can.

Patrick Howlett - Horticulturist

Justin Hannigan – Garden Maintenance 

Justin works in our Gardens, keeping them looking beautiful and healthy year-round. He also looks after our two terrapin ponds and assists with deliveries and whatever other tasks need doing – and there’s always something!  Justin loves getting to work outdoors, and the novelty of driving the mini-tractor hasn’t yet worn off. He has a MA in European Studies, which he completed prior to his realisation he much prefers working outside. He is a keen mountain biker and kayaker and loves being in nature. 

Justin works in our Gardens, keeping them looking beautiful and healthy year-round. He also looks after our two terrapin ponds and assists with deliveries and whatever other tasks need doing – and there’s always something!  Justin loves getting to work outdoors, and the novelty of driving the mini-tractor hasn’t yet worn off. He has a MA in European Studies, which he completed prior to his realisation he much prefers working outside. He is a keen mountain biker and kayaker and loves being in nature. 

Daniel Murphy – Facilities and Vehicle Maintenance

Daniel Murphy – Facilities and Vehicle Maintenance

Festina Lente relies hugely on the skills and expertise of Daniel, our resident carpenter and “Go-To” colleague.  A skilled tradesman, since he joined the Festina Lente team 3 years ago, Danny has managed to keep everything running, working and maintained to the highest level. Responsible for the maintenance of all garden and Service vehicles. His day today is very diverse and busy.  In his spare time, Danny has a keen interest in steam engines and helping out with his families farm.

Festina Lente relies hugely on the skills and expertise of Daniel, our resident carpenter and “Go-To” colleague.  A skilled tradesman, since he joined the Festina Lente team 3 years ago, Danny has managed to keep everything running, working and maintained to the highest level. Responsible for the maintenance of all garden and Service vehicles. His day today is very diverse and busy.  In his spare time, Danny has a keen interest in steam engines and helping out with his families farm.

Bob Smith – Horticulturist 

Bob works tirelessly alongside the rest of the Gardens team to keep our wonderful Victorian Walled Gardens in spectacular condition. He has a BSc in horticulture, and no two days are the same for him. One day he could be delivering manure all over Dublin, while the next he might be sowing seeds in the polytunnels in the spring or pruning roses in the winter months; Bob also manages the therapeutic trails which run along the sides of the ornamental gardens, as well as the wildflower meadow and woodland trail. All of these require continuous weeding and maintenance, keeping Bob’s days full! At home, Bob maintains his own garden and enjoys walking his dog. 

 

Selina Crow – Workshop Facilitator and Retail Assistant 

Selina is a familiar face to many local kids, as she runs our super popular summer camps in the Gardens and provides amazing activities during our birthday parties! She has an amazing set of craft skills that she uses to educate and engage visiting children of all ages. Selina also manages our Garden Shop, ensuring our visitors and staff have an enjoyable range of snacks and gardening supplies. Selina particularly enjoys getting to meet so many interesting people in her role, from the staff, allotment holders and students right through to the public – let’s face it, everyone needs chocolate! Selina has an MSc in Environmental Science, RH Advanced Certificate in Horticulture and qualification in Child Psychology. Outside of work, she enjoys training her young collie Murphy and taking part in her flower arranging club.  

  

Darren O’Reilly – Garden Assistant 

Darren has been working in Festina Lente for well over 15 years and is an integral part of the Gardens team.  Amongst his other duties, he is in charge of making sure that the recycling and waste management in the gardens is always taken care of.  Always willing to help out with whatever task is to hand, Darren is very friendly and a pleasure to work with.  He is an animal lover and looks after his pet birds in his free time. 

 

Ann Gleeson – STH Facilitator

Ann has been with Festina Lente since 2004 and was involved in the organisation of the Garden Restoration and Maintenance Programmes in line with the Historical Survey. Her talent, creativity and eye for detail were instrumental in bringing back to life the beautiful Victorian Walled Garden that you see here today. Ann plays an integral part in determining what we stock in our shop and in all of our garden planting, which has been much appreciated by visitors to the site and to our garden centre over the years. With a strong background in meditation and holistic therapies, Ann is currently qualifying as a facilitator on our Social Horticultural Therapy course. She is also a wonderful source of information for our allotment holders and customers on all things related to gardening.

Darren Murphy – Gardener 

Darren had a very varied career that spanned marketing, sales and finance in a large multinational prior to finding a new home here with us in Festina Lente. Working across a lot of key areas of the garden, Darren especially loves his work on the sensory trails and woodland meadows. He is also no stranger to annually cutting our 30foot tall yew hedges, which is not a task for the faint-hearted!! 

With a diploma in international trade, he loves learning new things and his horticultural training is progressing well working with his garden colleagues. When not at work, Darren loves spending time with his family, working in his own garden, looking after the family dogs and going to the gym. 

 

Sinead O’Connor 

Sinéad works weekends in the buzz of the Garden Shop and welcomes the moments of joy and creativity the environment offers to sensory connect with plants and people. She also supports members of the Festina Lente learning community in their QQI Social and Therapeutic Horticulture accreditation journey. With her professional background as a lecturer and researcher in environmental management (PhD, FHEA), sustainable landscapes (including walking practices in rural and urban settings) and community participation, she serves as a facilitator in a diversity of cultural landscapes online and internationally. She offers engaging experiences for communities and organizations seeking to make meaningful connections and transformations as global citizens and enriches all encounters with her training and qualifications as a coach, artist, and body movement practitioner. She values the wisdom of Nature – both indoors and outdoors. As well as caring for microgreens in her apartment, herbs in a small allotment and wildflowers in a local community pollinator garden, she walks the sensory trail of Festina Lente Gardens, dance with the sea and baths with the forest. 

Volunteers

Volunteers

Festina Lente is honoured to have an amazing group of volunteers working with them in our Walled Victorian Garden throughout the year.  Many of our volunteers have been with us for years continuing to help our garden team create a space that promotes wellbeing for the heart and head. Without their contribution, Festina Lente would not be the special place it is. For this, we are truly grateful.

Festina Lente is honoured to have an amazing group of volunteers working with them in our Walled Victorian Garden throughout the year.  Many of our volunteers have been with us for years continuing to help our garden team create a space that promotes wellbeing for the heart and head. Without their contribution, Festina Lente would not be the special place it is. For this, we are truly grateful.

Sabrina Tierney – Training and Day Services Manager

Sabrina Tierney – Training and Day Services Manager

Sabrina manages our training and day services programmes for people with additional needs – the Equestrian Training Programme (preparing students for careers in equestrian roles), the Transition Training Programme (preparing school leavers for transitioning into further training, employment or other services) and the Saol Anois Day service (providing development and leisure opportunities with individualised support). Sabrina has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, a Certificate in Supported Employment, a Certificate in Applied Management, and is a Designated Safeguarding Officer. Sabrina really enjoys her role as she’s able to work across the three diverse programmes, and seeing the amazing achievements of the men and women who attend Festina Lente is the best part of her job. Outside of work, Sabrina loves walking her gorgeous Yorkshire Terrier Ted (who is a popular visitor to Festina Lente!)

Sabrina manages our training and day services programmes for people with additional needs – the Equestrian Training Programme (preparing students for careers in equestrian roles), the Transition Training Programme (preparing school leavers for transitioning into further training, employment or other services) and the Saol Anois Day service (providing development and leisure opportunities with individualised support). Sabrina has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science, a Certificate in Supported Employment, a Certificate in Applied Management, and is a Designated Safeguarding Officer. Sabrina really enjoys her role as she’s able to work across the three diverse programmes, and seeing the amazing achievements of the men and women who attend Festina Lente is the best part of her job. Outside of work, Sabrina loves walking her gorgeous Yorkshire Terrier Ted (who is a popular visitor to Festina Lente!)

Maureen Coburn – Supported Employment Coordinator – Saol Anois

Maureen Coburn – Supported Employment Coordinator – Saol Anois

Maureen supports the men and women in our Saol Anois and Transition Training Programmes to find suitable employment or work placements within the community. Having been an instructor on the Transition Training Programme prior to taking up this current position, she is thrilled to be able to support our amazing men and women on a one-to-one basis to find rewarding work opportunities in a huge variety of fields. She loves meeting employers who are enthusiastic about inclusion and diversity in the workforce and finds it incredibly satisfying to see our clients fulfilled and supported in meaningful work. Maureen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology and a certificate in Supported Employment. Outside of Festina Lente, she loves watching and playing tennis and has recently taken up bridge – she’s finding the mental challenge rewarding.

Maureen supports the men and women in our Saol Anois and Transition Training Programmes to find suitable employment or work placements within the community. Having been an instructor on the Transition Training Programme prior to taking up this current position, she is thrilled to be able to support our amazing men and women on a one-to-one basis to find rewarding work opportunities in a huge variety of fields. She loves meeting employers who are enthusiastic about inclusion and diversity in the workforce and finds it incredibly satisfying to see our clients fulfilled and supported in meaningful work. Maureen holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology and Sociology and a certificate in Supported Employment. Outside of Festina Lente, she loves watching and playing tennis and has recently taken up bridge – she’s finding the mental challenge rewarding.

Jessica Rice – Community Connector and Supported Employment Facilitator, Saol Anois

Jessica Rice – Community Connector and Supported Employment Facilitator, Saol Anois

Jessica’s priorities as Community Connector at Festina Lente are to develop exciting learning experiences for our students, with a strong focus on helping them to develop great life skills. She’s a strong advocate for healthy lifestyles and works with the students to develop their yoga practice, encourages them to eat healthily and care for their mental health through meditation. Jessica’s passion growing up was horses,  leading her to study Equestrian Studies in Colaiste Stiofain Naofa. She’s worked in  riding  yards, both showjumping and riding schools.  In more recent years, Jessica achieved a BA (Hons.) in Social Science, and she combines her skills in equestrian management and social care to give our students a rich and rewarding learning experience.

Jessica’s priorities as Community Connector at Festina Lente are to develop exciting learning experiences for our students, with a strong focus on helping them to develop great life skills. She’s a strong advocate for healthy lifestyles and works with the students to develop their yoga practice, encourages them to eat healthily and care for their mental health through meditation. Jessica’s passion growing up was horses,  leading her to study Equestrian Studies in Colaiste Stiofain Naofa. She’s worked in  riding  yards, both showjumping and riding schools.  In more recent years, Jessica achieved a BA (Hons.) in Social Science, and she combines her skills in equestrian management and social care to give our students a rich and rewarding learning experience.

Amy Moore – Transition Training Programme Facilitator

Amy Moore – Transition Training Programme Facilitator

Amy works with the Transition Training Programme, which helps provide academic and practical experiences to help the learners to prepare themselves to take the next steps into the world, whether it may be education or employment. Amy has a strong background in working with people as she enjoys getting to know people from all walks of life. Amy is a graduate from UCD with BA (Hons) in Sociology and Political Science. Outside of Festina, Amy enjoys nature, sport, art, meeting new people and attempting to play the piano.

Amy works with the Transition Training Programme, which helps provide academic and practical experiences to help the learners to prepare themselves to take the next steps into the world, whether it may be education or employment. Amy has a strong background in working with people as she enjoys getting to know people from all walks of life. Amy is a graduate from UCD with BA (Hons) in Sociology and Political Science. Outside of Festina, Amy enjoys nature, sport, art, meeting new people and attempting to play the piano.

Lillian Doyle – Transition Training Programme Faciitator

Lillian Doyle – Transition Training Programme Facilitator

Lillian works in the Transition Training Programme, supporting school leavers to complete their QQI level 3 to transition into further training, employment or other services. Lillian is an Accredited Brain Injury Specialist and has previously worked in brain injury and spinal injury settings.  Her equestrian background - which included rides at the Cheltenham racing festival and time spent training horses – provides the students with insight and knowledge for their leisure and wellbeing activities. In addition, she has played and coached hockey, camogie and football to a high level. Among her many hobbies, Lillian enjoys sport, horses, music and downtime at the beach near her home.

Lillian works in the Transition Training Programme, supporting school leavers to complete their QQI level 3 to transition into further training, employment or other services. Lillian is an Accredited Brain Injury Specialist and has previously worked in brain injury and spinal injury settings.  Her equestrian background - which included rides at the Cheltenham racing festival and time spent training horses – provides the students with insight and knowledge for their leisure and wellbeing activities. In addition, she has played and coached hockey, camogie and football to a high level. Among her many hobbies, Lillian enjoys sport, horses, music and downtime at the beach near her home.

Gianluca Stroppi – Community Connector and Supported Employment Facilitator, Saol Anois

Gianluca Stroppi – Community Connector and Supported Employment Facilitator, Saol Anois

Gianluca works with the rest of the team to promote and facilitate the social inclusion of all the people included in the Saol Anois programme. The starting point is the interests, potentialities and expectations of the men and women included in the service. Based on these, Gianluca designs an individual plan and supports the men and women in the accomplishment of their goals.

Gianluca has a master’s degree in Clinical, Developmental and Neuro Psychology, and he is also currently working on a Youth Exchange Project funded by the Erasmus+ programme. This project will allow some of the Saol Anois people to live an experience abroad, working with people from a different country. Gianluca loves football, reading and watching movies.

Gianluca works with the rest of the team to promote and facilitate the social inclusion of all the people included in the Saol Anois programme. The starting point is the interests, potentialities and expectations of the men and women included in the service. Based on these, Gianluca designs an individual plan and supports the men and women in the accomplishment of their goals.

Gianluca has a master’s degree in Clinical, Developmental and Neuro Psychology, and he is also currently working on a Youth Exchange Project funded by the Erasmus+ programme. This project will allow some of the Saol Anois people to live an experience abroad, working with people from a different country. Gianluca loves football, reading and watching movies.

Grace Power – Community Connector and Behaviour Specialist, Saol Anois

Grace Power – Community Connector and Behaviour Specialist, Saol Anois

Grace works with the clients on our services who have various support needs, providing advocacy and supporting their social inclusion. She aims to help them develop meaningful social roles within their community. As the Behaviour Specialist for the services, she provides functional behavioural assessments for clients and creates goal-focused behavioural support plans for those who need additional supports. Grace also provides training and guidance for our staff working in the Services team, working to best address any behavioural issues that arise with the individuals we work with. Grace really enjoys working with such a fantastic group of men and women and loves being able to support them to access education and employment opportunities. Grace is a talented actor performing in amateur theatre. She’s currently doing a night course through the Gaiety School of Acting.  Grace is also an enthusiastic runner in her spare time.

Grace works with the clients on our services who have various support needs, providing advocacy and supporting their social inclusion. She aims to help them develop meaningful social roles within their community. As the Behaviour Specialist for the services, she provides functional behavioural assessments for clients and creates goal-focused behavioural support plans for those who need additional supports. Grace also provides training and guidance for our staff working in the Services team, working to best address any behavioural issues that arise with the individuals we work with. Grace really enjoys working with such a fantastic group of men and women and loves being able to support them to access education and employment opportunities. Grace is a talented actor performing in amateur theatre. She’s currently doing a night course through the Gaiety School of Acting.  Grace is also an enthusiastic runner in her spare time.

Leanne Swaine – Equestrian Training Programme Facilitator

Roxane Byrne – Team Leader and Day Service Facilitator, Saol Anois

Roxane’s role at Festina Lente is always evolving to meet the needs of our diverse clients! She meets with clients and their families to ensure each client is meeting their goals, and she reviews these regularly to keep up with changing requirements. Along with the other staff in the Saol Anois Day Service team, Roxane advocates for and supports the clients; she arranges all manner of trips and activities, puts together timetables, teaches a range of classes, and links in with associated services; her favourite thing about her role is that every day brings something new and no two days are the same! She feels very lucky to work with such a positive and outgoing group of men and woman who are always keen to try new things. Roxane is a passionate Scout leader and trainer who has been involved with the Bray Scout group for over 15 years. She’s also been a member of Civil Defence and recently joined the Irish Coast Guard as a volunteer.

Leanne is one of our two ETP Facilitators and works with the students on the course to develop their skills in horsemanship and stable management. She works with the students who are doing level 4 and level 5 qualifications and supervises both their academic work and their practical work on the yard. Leanne loves working with the students and seeing their confidence growing as they work through the course. She particularly enjoys seeing their skills developing, both with horses as well as their social and life skills. Leanne also appreciates that she can bring her adorable dog Popcorn to work, and her daughter is also a regular help in the yard! At home, Leanne loves spending time with family and friends, singing (mostly in the shower), dancing in the kitchen and trying new things.

John Glynn

John Glynn

John has been working with Festina Lente Foundation since 2006. He works with the Saol Anois and the TT Teams, advocating for, and supporting the men and women, to help them reach their full potential in life. John is life skills focussed and designs programs to ensure our men and women are equipped to meet challenges and attain their goals.  As a musician, he facilitates a music/drumming program in Festina Lente and organizes holiday respite breaks both at home and abroad. John rescues dogs and enjoys horse riding in his spare time.

John has been working with Festina Lente Foundation since 2006. He works with the Saol Anois and the TT Teams, advocating for, and supporting the men and women, to help them reach their full potential in life. John is life skills focussed and designs programs to ensure our men and women are equipped to meet challenges and attain their goals.As a musician, he facilitates a music/drumming program in Festina Lente and organizes holiday respite breaks both at home and abroad. John rescues dogs and enjoys horse riding in his spare time.

Deirdre Creasy – Community Connector, Saol Anois

Deirdre Creasy – Community Connector, Saol Anois

Deirdre’s focus as Community Connector is to develop better literacy skills amongst the men and women on the service through classroom-based learning and other activities. She has a strong interest in sustainability, and she is bringing this focus to her work, with the students growing food in the gardens to cook and eat to encourage a healthy lifestyle. She aims to foster confidence through working with people’s strengths and creating meaningful engagement in the community. Deirdre has extensive experience in working with people who experience inequality in all forms, using everyday tasks such as gardening to connect and create learning experiences. She holds a BSc in Education and Training from DCU and previously worked as a fitness instructor and holistic massage therapist.   Outside of work, she loves growing her own food and creating amazing meals and loves brightly coloured fabric and art. You’ll find her happiest in her garden with a brightly coloured dress and wellies!

Deirdre’s focus as Community Connector is to develop better literacy skills amongst the men and women on the service through classroom-based learning and other activities. She has a strong interest in sustainability, and she is bringing this focus to her work, with the students growing food in the gardens to cook and eat to encourage a healthy lifestyle. She aims to foster confidence through working with people’s strengths and creating meaningful engagement in the community. Deirdre has extensive experience in working with people who experience inequality in all forms, using everyday tasks such as gardening to connect and create learning experiences. She holds a BSc in Education and Training from DCU and previously worked as a fitness instructor and holistic massage therapist.   Outside of work, she loves growing her own food and creating amazing meals and loves brightly coloured fabric and art. You’ll find her happiest in her garden with a brightly coloured dress and wellies!