Cathy Magowan, Chairperson
My name is Cathy Magowan and I am currently the chairperson of Fermanagh Community Transport (FCT) voluntary board. I qualified as a nurse 30 years ago. Following a back injury which happened early in my nursing career, I returned to full-time education completing a degree in Health Promotion and Drama in Lancaster.
On return to my home county of Fermanagh I worked in Higher Education and the community and voluntary sector for several years. In 2004 I was appointed as the Carers Coordinator in the former Sperrin Lakeland Trust which is now the Western Health and Social Care Trust.
I have been an informal Carer for the past 10 years, firstly for my dad and more recently for my mum.
Living and working in Fermanagh I have always been aware that transport is an important issue for many people and particularly those living in the more rural areas. So, when I was asked to consider applying to become a board member, I thought this was a great opportunity to give something back to the community.
I became a board director in January 2017. It took time to learn about FCT and get to know the team. I enjoy our monthly board meetings and feel supported by the other board members.
I’m incredibly proud of the work FCT does and never more so than over the past 18 months as we faced very challenging times with Covid. Our drivers and office staff did an amazing job, delivering food and prescriptions. They demonstrated kindness and compassion to the people they supported.
Becoming a board member is extremely rewarding. The board members work as a team towards the common goal of delivering the best possible transport service to our community. The staff ensure that our service users, many of whom are older and have disabilities, can maintain their social networks, do their shopping, and attend essential appointments.
Allison Forbes, Vice-chairperson
My name is Allison Forbes and I am currently the Vice-Chair of Fermanagh Community Transport voluntary Board of directors. I am currently employed as the Manager of South West Age Partnership, a network organisation for older people living in the Fermanagh and Omagh district.
I also volunteer with Omagh Women’s Aid and have volunteered regionally and locally for a variety of organisations over the last 20 years.
Through my job and local volunteering I am acutely aware of the transport needs affecting rural people. I have been working with local Community Transport Providers since 2002 and the issues affecting our rural population remain much the same now, accessing services and reducing their isolation. I was delighted to accept the nomination onto the Board of FCT in 2017 as I wanted to learn more about the service and use that knowledge to improve access to services for local people.
In particular, over the last 22 months we have seen how wonderful a service FCT delivers. When so many programmes had ceased due to the pandemic FCT continued to deliver a valuable service and support to local people. I am so proud to be part of that.
Becoming a Board member has made a difference to me, I see such value in the work that is provided by FCT. We are a team and that shines through from the voluntary drivers, the staff drivers, the office team, the Manager and the Board, we work together to provide a much-needed support for people living in rural Fermanagh.
David Monaghan BEM, Non-Executive Director
My name is David Monaghan. I am a Director of PETAL Postforming Ltd in Irvinestown which manufactures Cubicle + Washroom Systems. The company was formed in March 1981.
I have been a volunteer for over 40 years, holding various positions within numerous voluntary, charitable and community organisations. I have been involved with the Irvinestown Scouts for 40 years, and currently hold the role of group treasurer. I am also a director on the board of management of the ARC Healthy living Centre in Sally’s Wood Irvinestown, a position I have held for 20 years.
My involvement with community transport reaches back to 1999 when I was one of the founding directors of Fermanagh and South Tyrone Community Transport (FAST). My motivation for getting involved in the establishment of FAST was to address rural social isolation and exclusion, an issue I was acutely aware of given my deep involvement in the community This service was set-up to serve all ages within the Fermanagh and South Tyrone area that lived in isolation, and without any means of getting in and out of a town for shopping, to the doctors the dentist or to just visit family and friends. FAST was superseded by Fermanagh Community Transport following the merging of FAST and Rural Lift in 2013.
I have held several roles within FCT. I have gained great delight in seeing the organisation grow and continuing to offer a door-door service, for the most disadvantaged within our County.
I would welcome and encourage you to become a voluntary director of FCT, as we all have different ideas and we will learn from each other, and you will be promoting Community Transport in your own catchment area, and as a team we will be supporting everyone.
Barry Boyle, Non-Executive Director
My name is Barry Boyle and I have worked for Fermanagh Rural Community Network since 2003, being Network Co-Ordinator since 2010 and over this time I have been involved in the FRCN core activities of providing practical support, guidance, information and networking opportunities for groups throughout County Fermanagh.
I represent FRCN and Fermanagh’s rural communities on a number of bodies including Fermanagh & Omagh Community Planning Partnership; Fermanagh & Omagh Community and Voluntary Sector Forum; Fermanagh Community Transport; Fermanagh and Omagh Local Action Group; Lough Erne Landscape Partnership; NIHE Rural Residents Forum; Erne East Community Partnership and, the Health and Social Care Board Western Commissioning Community Networks Forum.
I live on a family farm in the Cooneen area of County Fermanagh and I am a member of my local community group Cooneen/ Coonian Community Development Association.
Why did I first get involved in FCT? It was through my work with Fermanagh's rural communities I saw first-hand the difficulties many people face in having transport to access essential services and facilities required for them to live healthy and socially engaged lives. I wanted to play my part in assisting FCT in securing the necessary investment to provide this vital service and to promote it to Fermanagh's communities.
FCT is important to me personally and professionally, as it provides accessible and fit for purpose accessible transport services for some of the most isolated and vulnerable residents geographically and socially within County Fermanagh. Without this transport, these people would not be able to access essential services such as healthcare, GP appointments, local hospital outpatient appointments, training and social activities and, this impacts heavily and negatively upon their quality of life.
I enjoy working as a member of the FCT Board Team, to help the organisation and staff plan and deliver essential transport services to Fermanagh's communities. I would encourage anyone who has interest in transport issues within Fermanagh's communities to considering joining the FCT Board and play an active part in the organisation; it takes the collective skills, contacts and knowledge of a broad team of people from differing backgrounds and life experiences to have a successful organisation.
Eileen Drumm, Non-Executive Director
My name is Eileen Drumm and, I am a non-executive director with FCT and Shopmobility Enniskillen. I am also a board member of The Inclusive Mobility and Transport Advisory Committee (IMTAC) which is a committee of disabled people and older people as well as others including key transport professionals. The role of the Committee is to advise Government and others in Northern Ireland on issues that affect the mobility of deaf people, disabled people and older people. I am passionate about advocating for the needs of Fermanagh people on this highly important regional committee which advises government departments and agencies. I also sit on the Disability Housing Forum and the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Disability Advisory Group among others. I have recently been appointed as a community representative to sit on the board of the Fermanagh and Omagh Peace Plus Committee.
I started my volunteering with Fermanagh PHAB club in 1990, undertaking the role of information officer. This led and inspired me to volunteer with other organisations, one of which was the CTRS community college where I received my ICT qualifications ClAiT RSA Stages 1, 2 and 3 and my European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) qualification. Later I received the JEB Teaching Diploma. Having built up my confidence. knowledge and skills through volunteering and my ongoing commitment to learning and development, I then co- founded Women Making Waves and Shopmobility Enniskillen, as well as being involved with Fermanagh Women’s Network where I was trained as a community facilitator.
One of my interests and passion is drama, especially community drama. This passion led me to writing a number of short sketches. One of my short sketches which I subsequently turned into a play and of which I am particularly proud is “Does she take sugar 2”. The play highlights the difficulties people with disabilities face on a day-to-day basis.
In 2016 I was honoured to receive a BEM for services to people with disabilities in County Fermanagh.
I was delighted to join the Board of FCT due to my interest in transport and in particular accessible transport for everyone in a rural area. I would encourage others to join us.