ShoutOut announces Aifric Ní Chríodáin as new Executive Director

We spoke to ShoutOut's new Executive Director, Aifric Ní Chríodáin to find out what the role means to her and we announce how you can apply for the role of Training and Development Manager.

Photograph of Aifric Ní Chríodáin of ShoutOut.
Image: Donal Talbot

ShoutOut has just announced Aifric Ní Chríodáin as the charity’s new Executive Director, following the departure of Bella FitzPatrick, who has gone on to become the Executive Director of IGLYO (the International LGBTQ+ Youth Organisation) – we wish her the very best. 

Having volunteered and worked with the organisation since it began 10 years ago, Aifric’s passion for the ShoutOut is evident. She explained to GCN, “I love working with young people, they’re so funny, kind and empathetic…  It’s the most hopeful job I’ve ever done.

“Few jobs at the moment, given the way the world is, would give you optimism for the future in the way that working with students and talking about LGBT issues would. I’m very touched and motivated by how brave the LGBT students are in those schools because I know that I was never that brave and I was never that courageous. And so I think that there’s a real responsibility there as well.”

She’s also keen to acknowledge how a strong support network serves to bolster LGBTQ+ young people. “Students are way more open to the idea of being supportive, the idea of being allies than they would be in a school where they didn’t have that teacher support. So, if you’ve got teachers who students have good relationships with and who the students’ trust and respect, and they’re willing to promote this message that goes a long way as well.” 

“We’re really lucky that most of the teachers that we work with are incredible allies, so articulate, so passionate and determined to make a change in the school as well.”

But for all the acceptance and support, Aifric also highlighted the need for the continued work of ShoutOut. “No matter how impactful the workshop is, there are still issues around schools. If you’re looking to transition while you’re a student, or if you’re dealing with a major bullying issue, if you’ve got family who aren’t supportive but your school is on board; there’re these constant kinds of small conflicts that are coming up again and again. 

“And I know that teachers and school staff have all the best intentions in the world, but they need guidance as well on how to iron out those conflicts and how to deal with those conflicts. So we want to improve what we have to offer them in terms of guidance around policy and guidance around teacher training, we want to be able to support them to make their curriculum more inclusive.”

Although the primary focus of ShoutOut is on schools, they also design workshops for a range of workplaces and Aifric is keen to grow this area. “We want to continue what we do in workplaces around making workplaces more inclusive and having really clear conversations about what it means to be an inclusive workplace.

“I think that, especially post COVID, people have got quite high standards for what a workplace can offer and that there’s accountability there. Particularly I think, from younger employees or from employees who might come out over COVID, there’s a need to be seen and reassured and understood. And for that to be backed up with policy and support in the workplace. So we’ve always tried to further that message across any space where it’s relevant.”

Over the last ten years of ShoutOut’s work, they have astoundingly reached over 60,000 young people through nearly 2,500 workshops. The organisation has grown from strength to strength seeing it employ just one part-time staff in 2019 to four full-time positions in 2022 and with Aifric’s promotion, applications for a new Training and Development Manager are now open.

The full-time position will mainly be focused on overseeing the educational workshops for adults in workplace and capacity building settings and educational programmes through content development and strategic approaches.

The deadline for applications is 9.00 am on Monday, April 4 with an immediate start. Full details on how to apply can be found here.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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