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Speakers confirmed for Charity Commission’s safeguarding seminar


Three expert keynote speakers will address attendees at the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland’s forthcoming Essential safeguarding good practice seminar.

Over 350 charities that work overseas to provide services to children and/or vulnerable adults have been invited by the Commission to the seminar, which is the first of its kind to be hosted by the regulator.

The event is aimed at ensuring charities working in sectors which involve those that are vulnerable are aware of their responsibilities as charity trustees, and the safeguarding standards expected of them.

There will be three keynote speakers on the day, each providing a unique and informative view on the different safeguarding challenges and responsibilities facing charities.

Sarah Mistry, Director of Effectiveness and Learning, Bond, the UK network for organisations working in international development

Sarah leads a team which supports Bond’s 450 NGO members to increase their development impact and organisational effectiveness. Within this, current priorities include transparency and accountability, adaptation and innovation, diversifying NGO funding sources, impact measurement and safeguarding. She led the development of Bond’s strategy and is responsible for Bond’s fundraising, grant programmes and strategic partnerships.  

Sandra Adair, Director of Operations, Volunteer Now, a lead organisation for the provision of volunteer support, promotion and development in Northern Ireland

Sandra Adair has worked with the Volunteer Development Agency since it was a project in NICVA and through its establishment and development as an independent charity and through the merger to create Volunteer Now. She led the development of Volunteer Now’s social enterprise – Volunteer Now Enterprises Ltd in 2013. Sandra has developed and managed a number of volunteer development projects, including training and information services covering volunteer management, governance and safeguarding. She was at the forefront in providing leadership to the development and implementation of standards for volunteer management and safeguarding, including the accredited organisational national award, Investing in Volunteers.

Myles McKeown, Head of Compliance and Enquiries, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

Myles is responsible for leading compliance work with charities in Northern Ireland, covering investigations into the mismanagement of charities and annual reporting. He has over 15 years’ experience of audit and investigation work, gained in the Northern Ireland Audit Office and the Department for Social Development (now Department for Communities). He was previously employed within the Business Development Directorate of the Child Maintenance Service, aiding in the development of policies and procedures relating to child maintenance reform. Myles is a member of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CMIIA).

The Commission’s Essential safeguarding good practice seminar will be held on Thursday, 24 May 2018, from 9.30am to 1pm (registration at 9am) at NICVA in Belfast.


For more information please contact Shirley Kernan, Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Communications Officer, on tel: 028 3832 0169, mobile: 07827338978 or email:

Notes to editors

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Communities.

This seminar is primarily aimed at charities working overseas to deliver services to vulnerable beneficiaries and seeks to:

  • raise awareness of the relationship between good safeguarding practice and the delivery of good governance.
  • inform charities about their duty to report serious incidents to the Commission, including safeguarding matters.
  • identify the issues facing Northern Ireland charities, in relation to safeguarding employees, volunteers and vulnerable beneficiaries.
  • support charities to improve their safeguarding practice and ensure their charity’s values are reflected in all areas of their operation.