Connect strives for a more just and progressive future that advocates for diversity and individualism. A future that bolsters self-determination – where people and communities have the freedoms to voice their opinions, address concerns, and help tackle issues pertaining to their communities.
To offer inclusive activities which support the educational, training, employment, cultural, health and recreational needs of marginalised/disadvantaged communities.
We aim to empower individuals and communities, by providing training, education, and employment opportunities. We ignite passion, motivation, and self-determination through actively engaging with marginalised /disadvantaged communities. We strive to invest in communities and to build a stronger, fairer society and to facilitate programmes that are tailored to best meet the needs of people and communities.
Syd Trotter is a founder member of Connect, he promotes and facilitates educational programmes both formal and informal, to a range of community-based organisations and groups within Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. He facilitates/tutors in schools/colleges on a variety of programmes incorporating Social Justice, Peace building and theatre. He currently tutors for Ulster University’s Centre for Flexible and Continuing Education programme. He also is a facilitator with the Derry Play-House Theatre as well as being an education consultant for the Kilcooley Community Forum in Bangor. His work involves promoting education within community and working at a more strategic level with key statutory and voluntary agencies to develop and implement strategies that will address the current disconnect between working class communities and education. His focus has been on presenting third level education as a realistic and attainable outcome for students from low-income or marginalised backgrounds. Many of those engaging with his community-based programmes are potentially, the first family members to attend university. Sydney received a BSc Hons degree in Community Development (2013) and is currently in his final year of an LL.M master’s in law in Queens University Belfast. He is Ulster Universities first Community Fellow for Ards and North Down.
Sinead is the co-founder and director of Connect. She is a hard-working and motivated individual, committed to educating students, colleagues, families, and the community by establishing strong connections, and making education accessible and enjoyable to everyone. Sinead promotes the belief that through education and collective action, we can bring about a more just and equitable society. Sinead holds a first class honours bachelor’s degree in Community Development, and was awarded a place on the Dean’s List of Social Sciences and Humanities for outstanding academic achievement at Ulster University (2018) and is currently studying for a master’s degree in Educational Studies, at Queens University (2020). Sinead has designed and facilitated hundreds of classes, meetings and workgroups, and has developed an array of organisational tools including staffing, training and strategic plans. Sinead has a wealth of experience working with a range of institutions, organisations and groups throughout Ireland leading to her research being published in The Irish Journal of Adult and Community Education (2018).