About Us

About Us

Uplift is a people powered campaigning community of over 220,000 people who take coordinated action for progressive change across Ireland. 

We are a self-supporting independent organisation. We believe that when we work together towards a common goal we can create a better society.

We know that people are not apathetic but desire engagement in our democracy. People want to have a say in decisions that determine the type of society that we live in. By connecting with each other we will help to create a stronger, more powerful voice and have much broader impact.

Campaigns are informed by our shared values; to promote social justice, to defend fairness, protect our rights, preserve the planet and to deepen democracy. Using digital tools and a variety of campaigning strategies, our members participate and take action to advance Uplift campaigns.

Uplift is run by a small team of volunteers and staff experienced in social justice campaigning. The Board of Directors advises and supports the core team.

Uplift is completely independent and not aligned to any political or corporate interests.

People

Staff Team

Siobhan O’Donoghue

Director

Siobhán has been a community worker and social justice activist for many years. Her experience ranges from community and youth work, to national policy advocacy and campaigning. She has a particular interest in economic justice, women’s equality, anti-racism, and workers rights. From 2002 to 2014, Siobhán was the Director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. In 2012, Siobhán completed an M.A. in Applied Social Studies in NUI Maynooth. Prior to qualifying as a community and youth worker, she trained to be a nurse. In 2010 she was awarded the Captain Cathal Ryan Scholarship for Social Entrepreneurship.

siobhan@uplift.ie

Emily Duffy

Deputy Director

As Deputy Director of Uplift, Emily is responsible for crafting persuadable messages and delivering strategies that win campaigns. Emily is particularly passionate about public and affordable housing, refugee rights and safer public maternity services. She is a board member of Amal Women’s Association, a muslim women led group that provides culturally appropriate support to women experiencing gender based violence and is currently completing a global messaging fellowship with Anat Shenker Osario. In another life, she co-founded and directed the Spirit of Folk Music and Arts Festival and was a sound engineer. She is from Monaghan, and wastes most of her free time watching Star Trek.

emily@uplift.ie

Shae Flanagan

Lead Organiser

Shae is a community organiser and campaigner from South Africa via Australia. Her interests are in democratic representation at all levels for all communities, climate justice and equitable rights for minority groups. She is currently studying an MSc in comparative social change with a focus on feminist and anti-racist practice in activist spaces. As Lead Organiser she is keen to empower people to make the change they want to see in the world. On her down time she loves fantasy novels, quiet nights at the pub and pretending to exercise while sneaking off to buy Mexican food.

shae@uplift.ie

Alex Barton

Operations and Admin Coordinator

Alex joined the Uplift team after having volunteered on the Member Support Team for a number of years. Alex is a mother of three and her background is in digital marketing, PR and event management. Alex grew up in Kenya where she was involved in NGO work in healthcare and education. Since living in Ireland Alex has campaigned for the provision of services and medication for people with Cystic Fibrosis as well as Repeal the 8th campaign.

alex@uplift.ie

Rachel Reid

Campaigner

Rachel joined the Uplift team in April 2019. They have a background in Youth Work with a particular focus on migrants and refugees. They have worked as a caseworker in the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Rachel has a particular interest in migrant rights, women equality, gender identity politics and anti-racism.

rachelreid@uplift.ie

David McMullen

Technology Co-ordinator

David joined the Uplift team as a tech campaigner in April 2018. With over 5 years experience in the software industry, he understands the potential to connect and amplify activists. David’s main areas of focus are climate change and the environment.
David brings skills in software development, facilitation and decentralized organizing to the team, along with an ability to juggle and a love for cycling.

david@uplift.ie

Board Members

Amel Yacef

Director

Amel is the chair of the European Network Against Racism Europe and has a background in anti racism strategies within the community development and youth work centres. She is also a board member of Amal Women’s Association, a group that provides culturally appropriate support to muslim women experiencing gender based violence.

Hannah Lownsbrough

Director

Hannah is the Executive Director of SumOfUs. She was also a founding campaigns director of 38 Degrees UK’s largest people powered campaign movement which during her time went from launch to over 1.5m members throughout the UK. As well as building an agile and quick moving office team, she led successful campaigns on forest privatisation, immigration, social services and many more. She has worked for leading UK think tank, Demos and has spent time in youth organisations.

Bruce Clark

Director

Bruce is a fundraising manager and consultant with over 30 years of experience in direct marketing for NGOs. He is very driven by results and learning from analysis and adaptation from other markets and enjoys working for causes such as international development, peace, human rights and the environment. He brought together a consortium of charities to create The Good Form, the Irish Charities Taxback campaign. Bruce is also a keen mountain-hiker and have, in a voluntary capacity, completed fundraising challenges such as Amnesty Trek Scotland, Oxfam Trailtrekker, Barretstown Dublin Mountains Challenge and Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team’s Walk The Line.

Cian O’Donovan

Chairperson

Cian is an activist, technologist, and academic. He is a former technology director and campaigner for 38 Degrees, the UK’s largest people-powered campaigning movement. There, he successfully campaigned to halt the privatisation of swathes of England’s woodlands, took on the big energy companies and their big profiteering. Previously, he worked in the area of climate change campaigning and spent a number of years in broadcast television. Cian researches and teaches at the University of Sussex, in Brighton, England.

Edel McGinley

Director

Edel McGinley is the current Director of the Migrant Rights Centre Ireland. Prior to taking up this role, she coordinated MRCI’s Justice for the Undocumented campaign. She previously coordinated the Domestic Workers Action Group, forced labour and trafficking work. Before joining MRCI, Edel worked in various social care and youth work positions. Internationally, she has worked with domestic workers and children in forced labour, in Peru. She holds an M.A. in Globalisation, a postgraduate degree in Digital Media Technology, a B.A. in Applied Social Studies, and a Diploma in Youth and Community Work.

Nicola Browne

Director

Based in Northern Ireland Nicola has extensive human rights experience across civil and political, and economic, social and cultural rights, and spanning work in an academic setting, an international body and an NGO. A founder staff member of Participation and the Practice of Rights organisation in Northern Ireland she co-developed PPR’s innovative Human Rights Based Approach which enables people directly affected by lack of socio-economic rights to make change on the ground. In November 2012, PPR’s work was profiled by the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights as a best practice example of “how communities can use indicators to claim their rights”. In January 2013, PPR’s work was described by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as “the way human rights work should be, but isn’t, done”.

Jon Lloyd

Director

Jon has been involved in campaigning, fundraising and marketing for the last 13 years. He is one of the world’s top digital fundraising and campaigning experts, having honed his craft in digital-first organisations. He’s passionate about sharing his knowledge with as many people as possible to raise standards in the nonprofit sector to increase our impact. Jon has a true global outlook, having won campaigns and raised tens of millions of Euros in nearly every country in the world for human rights, healthcare, advocacy and campaigning, education, hospitals, and community organisations. He currently lives in London, UK, via New Zealand and Canada.

Bex Hay

Director

Bex is the Tech Director of 38 Degrees, Uplift’s sister organisation the UK. Bex has a background in corporate campaigning and previously worked at ShareAction, mobilising people power to make our financial system fairer. Outside of work Bex is usually watching, playing or talking about cricket.

Liam Herrick

Director

Liam Herrick was appointed toExecutive Director of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) in November 2016. Prior to his appointment, he worked as Advisor to President Michael D. Higgins for almost three years. Liam was Executive Director of the Irish Penal Reform Trust (IPRT) between 2007 and 2014. He has also worked as the first head of legislation and policy at the former Irish Human Rights Commission and with the Law Reform Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs. He is a former member of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC), a former Board member of the Children’s Rights Alliance and the Minister for Justice and Equality’s Strategic Review Group on Penal Policy (2012-2014). Liam graduated from University College Cork with a BCL and LLM and from University College Dublin with a Diploma in Human Rights Law.

How we are Funded

Uplift doesn’t accept money from the Government or big corporations. We’re over 60% member funded and the rest we make up from small grants from groups like Global Green Foundation, The Community Foundation of Ireland, Pizza Sunday Club, OPEN. The average member donation is €8. We also partner with bigger organisations like The Simon Community, SumOfUs and Mandate Trade Union to run partner campaigns that Uplift members care about.

How we spend money

Uplift has a small staff team and nobody is paid big bucks, but all staff members are paid a decent living wage. We keep our costs down where possible and we don’t need lots of money to have impact.

Here’s a breakdown of how we spend money:

You can view and download our audited accounts here:

Directors Report and Financial Statement (June 2016 – Dec 2017)

Directors Report and Financial Statement (May 2015 – April 2016)

Directors’ Report and Financial Statements (June 2014 – April 2015)

You can read a copy of our donations policy here.

Our Values

We believe that:

  • People are not apathetic, but by protecting vested interests and powerful elites, our political system has systematically denied us meaningful opportunities to participate in the vital decisions that critically affect us. This has led to a sense of helplessness and powerlessness.
  • A critical mass of Irish people support the progressive values of equality, justice, and sustainability, and are hungry for accessible, effective, trustworthy ways to advance those values in Ireland.
  • Great change is possible when people come together to take action. It is possible to affect change and influence decision makers, including the political system and big business.
  • Leadership is demonstrated in many forms. Leadership needs to come from the people, be accountable, and be directed towards the common good. A healthy democracy requires the critical engagement of people. Asking questions is one of the most powerful democratic acts we can do.
  • Social justice is about the fair distribution of wealth, resources and privileges within society. Uplift members believe in the right of people to realise their full potential. This includes taking a stand on the rights of low paid workers, progressive taxation, challenging exploitation, access to quality health care, and public services.
  • Uplift members believe that discrimination and prejudice need to be challenged so that everyone can participate fully and equally. This includes taking a stand against racism, sexism, and homophobia. It also means taking a stand for the rights of communities experiencing economic, social, and political exclusion.
  • Our planet is in extreme danger and Uplift members stand up for protecting our natural resources, including our woodlands, by fighting policies and practices that cause climate change and environmental destruction.

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