Twenty Years and Counting…! CENI Celebrates 20th Anniversary

This year marks CENI’s 20th Anniversary and we are delighted that we have been able to support voluntary and community organisations in Northern Ireland and their funders over the past two decades to better measure the difference they are making. 

To mark the occasion a celebration event was held in the Mac where we were joined by supporters, clients, consultants and funders together with staff and board members (past and present), to reminisce and ponder the challenges we have faced and the contribution we have made over the years.

Guests were welcomed by current CENI Chair, Kieran Harding who handed over to CENI’s first Chair, Dave Wall who recounted his experiences and reflections of the difficulties faced by the sector over the past 20 years and CENI’s role within it. A number of our supporters who have had different levels of involvement with us over the years, including Sharon Polson, Department for Social Development; Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund; Brenda Kelly, Sported and Nicholas McCrickard, County Down Rural Community Network shared their experiences of evaluation and working with CENI.


Speaking at the event, Brendan McDonnell, CENI Director said:


“It has been great to mark this important milestone in the life of CENI with today’s event and to see so many familiar faces joining us in celebration. Having started out as the NI branch of Charities Evaluation Services UK, we have come a long way since 1995. The past 20 years have been challenging and eventful, but I believe our longevity is down to our ability to evolve as an organisation to meet the changing needs of the sector and to continue to provide innovative solutions to helping organisations and funders better demonstrate the difference they are making.


“I would like to thank everyone involved with CENI over the years  - our dedicated staff team, past and present; the CENI board for their unwavering and constructive support; our funders for their continued faith; our associate consultants; and not least the thousands of community groups, voluntary organisations and volunteers who have engaged our support over the years. I very much look forward to the next 20 years of CENI!”

Here are some of our key moments from the past 20 years  VIEW SLIDESHOW

To mark this special year we are proud to present our 20 Year Review of our highlights and achievements.



Kieran Harding, CENI Chair welcomes guests to the 20th Anniversary                                     

Celebration Event.




Dave Wall, CENI's First Chair



     Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund; Sharon Polson, Department for Social                            

      Development; Brenda Kelly, Sported and Nicholas McCrickard, Co. Down Rural                     

      Community Network are interviewed by Kieran Harding on how they feel                             

     evaluation has changed over the years and the role of CENI.



      CENI staff cutting the cake L-R Brendan McDonnell, Nicola Mcldoon, Deputy Director; 

    Kerry McCarroll, Communications Officer; Pamela Walker, Finance Officer; Gladys Swanton,

    Learning & Develoment Manager and Aongus O'Keeffe, Programme Leader, Inspiring Impact NI.


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