Executive Committee



An Executive Committee of 11 young people manage the Youth Forum.

The Executive Committee are responsible for the management of the Youth Forum. The Executive set the priorities for the Youth Forum and they employ a staff team to carry out this work.

The Committee for 2016-18 were elected at our AGM on 1st October 2016. Updated Pen profiles and contact details to follow

If you want to contact any member of the Committee, please email info@niyf.org or contact them directly on their personal Email and twitters!


taragrace-connollyTara Connolly

Hi! I’m Tara Grace Connolly. I’m 19, I’m studying Law with Politics at QUB and I’m chairperson of NIYF’s Exec. I also was a trustee on the previous Executive Committee from 2014-2016. In addition to NIYF, I’m also a peer advocate with Youth@CLC, the youth advisory panel of the Children’s Law Centre. I was also a member of Belfast city Council Youth Forum from 2012-2016, serving as chairperson from 2015-16, and vice chair from 2014-15. I’m now a volunteer with BYF. I travelled to Geneva in October 2015 to present to the UNCRC, representing the views of children and young people from all over NI. I’ve also been fortunate to go to Brussels and London with different groups, and have also taught English to underprivileged children in India with the charity Saphara. I’m a young ambassador for Trocaire on their climate justice campaign, and have volunteered at the Electric Picnic with Friends of the Earth, lobbying for the Irish government to switch to renewable energy sources. I hope to help NIYF continue to promote the voice of young people as chair, and look forward to an exciting two years!


Anne Marie Heskethannemarie-hesketh
Vice Chairperson

Pen Profile to follow


ross-connollyRoss Connolly
Honorary Secretary

Hey there! My name is Ross Connolly, I’m 18 years old and studying PPE at Queen’s. I’ve been involved with the NIYF in various projects for around 2 years now. I served as Member of the NI Youth Congress for Strangford between 2014-2016. I have enjoyed brilliant opportunities over the last few years, such as being able to travel to India to teach young children in schools across the country, and a trip to the European Parliament in Strasbourg with Rotary Ireland. In November 2015, I helped set up the Killyleagh Area Youth Forum to promote youth facilities, services and opportunities in the area, and currently sit as its vice-chair. I love politics and travelling wherever and whenever I can. I am very proud to have been elected Honorary Secretary of NIYF and am so excited for the work and campaigns to come!


rebecca-russellRebecca Russell

Pen Profile to follow


Conor McAfeeConor McAfee

Pen Profile to Follow




alex-curryAlex Curry

Hi I’m Alex, I’m 19 and from Greenisland. I have been on several programmes with NIYF and I wanted to get involved with the executive committee to help run the organisation and make it better for everyone.


james-royJames Roy

Hi I’m James I’m 20 and I have been involved with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum for around 9 months and it has changed me into a better person. I’m honoured to be on the executive and I will help it grow as it has helped me.


peter-mogeyPeter Mogey

Pen profile to follow


phil-mitchellPhil Mitchell

Hi I’m Philip, I’m 20 and from Antrim. I’ve been involved with the NIYF for about a year now being part of United for change and emerging young leaders. I wanted to be on the executive committee because the youth form has helped me become who I am today and to help run it and make it as good for everyone as it was for me.

joe-higginsonJoe Higginson

My name is Joe Higginson, I’m 17 and from Bangor.
I’ve been involved with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum for almost 4 years now, during this time I’ve campaigned on issues such as; Votes@16, a NI Youth Assembly and better provision for youth services.
Some projects I have been involved with are: North South Youth Forum, UK Youth Parliament, Translink Youth Forum and the Mental Health Sub-group. I am currently serving my second term on the executive committee, and I hope to fulfill my role to the best of my ability.

Tanya Hamill

My name is Tanya-Louise Hamill and I am a full-time student studying Criminology and Criminal Justice with the hopes of getting into an area of victim support work. I have volunteered for the Youth Forum on a continuous basis throughout the last year and a half, campaigning on behalf of young people for a wide range of issues. My more extensive experience within the Forum stems from current investigative research into young people and mental ill health in Northern Ireland, exploring the services and support available for young people, their efficiency and assessing what areas can be improved. However, this is my first time working for the NIYF executive, a role I adapted in the hopes of achieving more interactive and practical involvement in representing and campaigning on behalf of youths across Northern Ireland.

Profile Photo to follow

Alex Moore

Hi! I’m Alex Moore. I’m 16, non-binary (and hence use they/them pronouns) and I’m currently studying A-Levels in Maths, Physics, Sociology and Politics.

I am a member of the Green Party and a committee member + advocacy worker with GenderJam NI. With GenderJam, I run a youth group in Newry for young trans folks once a month. I also do outreach to schools in the Southern Area of NI to ensure that trans students are well respected and integrated within their educational environment.

Last year, I campaigned with YesEquality in the Republic Of Ireland and am currently involved in campaigning for the legalisation of abortion, lowering of the voting age to 16 and greater LGBTQ rights (including, but not limited to, marriage equality in NI).

Photo to follow

Aóife Kelly

Profile and Photo to follow

Clíodhna McCaffrey

Profile and Photo to follow

Anesu Mtowa

Hi, I’m Anesu Mtowa. I am a 13 year old Northern Irish South African, who lives in Portadown and attends Clounagh J.H.S. I enjoy baking, crochet and painting but my favourite hobby is photography, mostly wildlife. I joined the NIYF because I wanted to see change for young people in Northern Ireland, especially ethnic communities. I am so excited to be on the executive committee and I can’t wait to get started.

Photo to follow

Beth Wylie
Adult Advisor

beth-wylieHi I’m Beth I’m 25 from Belfast I enjoy art and I’m very passionate about homelessness and mental health issues for young people