Meet the Jigsaw Dublin City Team

James Barry

James Barry

Project Manager

It was my job to get Jigsaw Dublin City open and now I make sure the space we see young people in is the best and safest it can be. I manage the team so they feel supported, listened to and valued in the work so they can do a great job, which means young people get an excellent service. I also ensure that people know about Jigsaw Dublin City so we can help as many young people as possible.

Study: I’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to do a few different courses. I have completed a one year FAS course in Kerry in Outdoor Education (so I could work with people on the mountains, lakes and rivers) followed by a Post Leaving Certificate course in Sports and Recreation (so I could work inside when it got too cold). This allowed me the opportunity to do an Ordinary Degree in Health Fitness and Leisure Studies, followed by an Honours Degree in Physical Education Studies in the Institute of Technology Tralee (which allowed me and a tracksuit every day). The last course I’ve completed was a Masters in Child Family and Community Studies, which helped me understand more about working in these areas and how to manage projects.

Work: The plan was to be a P.E. teacher but I took a bit of a different career path and have worked in a variety of jobs with young people including; Welfare Officer in I.T. Tralee, Area Development Officer for West Cork/Kerry with The No Name Club, Sports Inclusion Disability Officer with Meath Local Sports Partnership, Education Coordinator with Jigsaw Kerry, Youth Engagement Coordinator with Jigsaw National Office, and Health Promotion Officer with the National Youth Council of Ireland to name a few. All my roles have seen me work with young people and services in a variety of ways and have taught me the importance of keeping the voice of young people at the centre of my work.

Fun Fact: I’ve climbed Ben Nevis, built and slept in a snow cave in Italy, went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, and completed 2 sky dives.

Conor Boksberger

Conor Boksberger

Clinical Coordinator

My job is to lead the team in Jigsaw Dublin City provide the highest quality and safest service to young people. I’m also really lucky that I still get to meet with young people and support them to find solutions to what’s causing them problems.

Study: I studied Social Science in UCD and then went on to complete a Master’s Degree in Social Work in Trinity College. Both of these courses have really helped me understand how society, family, school and a range of other factors can have a direct influence on our lives, and can play a big part in how we feel on a day to day basis.

Work: I have experience of working with young people in a number of settings including a child and adolescent mental health service, residential care and aftercare. Before coming to Jigsaw I was working with adults who were experiencing homelessness and also involved with the criminal justice system. About three years ago I made the move to Jigsaw, starting in Tallaght as a Clinical Support Worker, and then Senior Clinical Support Worker. For the past 3 years I have been working with Jigsaw, firstly as a clinical support worker and senior clinical support worker in Jigsaw Tallaght, before taking on the role of Clinical Coordinator in Jigsaw Dublin City.

Fun Fact: I played drums (and occasionally bass) in a number of short-lived bands when I was in school.

Joanna Burke

Joanna Burke

Senior Clinical Support Worker

I work one to one with young people in Jigsaw. When our Clinical Coordinator Conor is out and about or on his holidays, John (also Senior Clinical Support Worker) and I stand-in for him and help out with some of his work.

Study: I have a Degree in Occupational Therapy from Trinity College- Occupational Therapists are trained to help people to do the things that they need to do and want to do. Sometimes when we go through difficult times it can be hard to keep doing these things. I work with young people to help them understand and talk about how they are feeling and set goals with them to help them get back to doing the things that matter to them.

Work: When I finished college I first worked with adults who were experiencing difficulties with their mental health. I helped them to think about changes they wanted to make and to think about what activities were most important and meaningful to them and then supported them to do those things.  This involved lots of different things, sometimes people needed to learn to cook for themselves, sometimes they wanted to be more confident going outside the house and needed support and practice to do this, sometimes they wanted time to spend on their hobbies and interests like art and gardening and this helped them to feel good. I've been working with young people in Jigsaw for nearly three years.

Fun Fact: I'm a big music lover, and when I'm not busy in Jigsaw I happily spend my time song writing, performing and going to gigs.

Anthony Burrowes

Anthony Burrowes

Youth and Community Engagement Worker

Study: I have a Bachelor Degree in Sociology (the study of the world around us) and Social Policy (the study of the structures and rules that support the world around us). I have a Masters in Youth and Community Work (how to work with young people and communities to engage in creating an environment that we all would like to live in). 

Work: I have had a great opportunity to work with a number of youth organisations across Dublin. I have worked with young people to support them to work on social justice issues, with a youth rights focus, in the hope to build a community that they would like to live in. 

Fun Fact: I spent 6 months in Mexico looking after turtles.

Aisling Doherty

Aisling Doherty

Youth and Community Engagement Worker

Study: I completed my undergraduate in Health Science and Physiology, which explored physical activity promotion, exercise testing and prescription and public health practices. Following this, I completed a Masters in Health promotion through NUI, Galway. This course gave me a deeper understanding of the concepts and principals of health promotion, the determinants of physical, mental and social wellbeing and how to apply health promotion interventions across diverse population groups and settings. 

Work: I have previously worked in Belfast as a project worker in a mental health promotion programme, delivering workshops and training to schools and community organisations. I have also worked as a health promotion officer developing and delivering health promotion and peer education programmes across Ireland. 

Fun Fact: I stopped playing sport when I was 10 years old. Last year I challenged myself to try rugby, 2 months later I was playing in a Leinster league finals. One year on and still going strong (Kind of). 

Violet Johnstone

Violet Johnstone

Clinical Support Worker

Study: Completed a doctorate in counselling psychology at Trinity.

Work: I have worked in many different therapeutic settings. Some of these include primary care psychology, working as a psychologist in a primary school, working in drug and alcohol addiction treatment centres and university health centres.

Fun Fact: I am from the Pacific Northwest of the United States of America where it is said that Bigfoot lives. I've yet to spot him. 

Sonia Rennicks

Sonia Rennicks

Administrator

I am usually the first point of contact for young people, their parents and the general public when they contact or visit the Jigsaw Dublin City Hub. I am responsible for the day to day administration of the hub. I work closely with James, the Project Manager and Conor, the Clinical Coordinator to provide the necessary administration support to ensure the smooth running of the service. I work closely with the team to develop Jigsaw Dublin City's online presence. If there is a creative project happening in the hub, I am usually involved in some way!  

Study: I have an MA in Arts Administration from the National University of Galway. This course taught me all about the management, marketing and administration of the arts, culture and non-profit sectors in Ireland and abroad. I also have an honours degree in Fine Art, a Diploma in Digital Marketing & Digital Media Management and I am Adobe Certified in Visual Communications. In other words I took the very scenic route through college! Luckily I get to use all of the things I learned and the skillsets I developed in my job as Administrator for Jigsaw Dublin City. 

Work: After graduating I worked in arts management for a number of years in Galway. This included managing some really exciting outreach projects and touring exhibitions in conjunction with local youth and community groups. Following this I worked in administration in various government departments in Dublin and Meath. During the last few years I worked in administration and marketing roles in the hospitality sector in Meath. I am very happy to be back working for a non-profit and especially excited to be with an organisation that supports the mental health of the young people in the area.   

Fun Fact: I am VERY partial to Halloween. Peak Halloween commitment so far was sewing a zombie wedding dress from scratch for my friend for her Halloween hen party. I am fully intending to dress as The Lion, the Witch AND the Wardrobe this year.

John Owens

John Owens

Senior Clinical Support Worker

I work one to one with young people here in Jigsaw Dublin City. When our Clinical Coordinator Conor is out and about or on his holidays, Joanna (also Senior Clinical Support Worker) and I stand-in for him and help out with some of his work.

Study: I have a degree in Social Work from Trinity College. Social workers are trained to work with people who may be experiencing a challenge in their life, who need to talk to someone about a worry they may have or who may be looking for some help in solving a problem or issue. In Jigsaw, my social work training helps me to provide a supportive space in which a young person can talk about what is going on for them and to work on some solutions to make things a little easier. You can find out more about Social Work and the course I studied at: https://www.tcd.ie/swsp/undergraduate/social-studies/index.php

Work: I have worked in community services which help young people and their parents with challenges they face in school, at home and in other areas of their life. I also worked in a busy hospital setting, including working for some time in the A&E Department. In this setting, I worked with young people and adults who were experiencing a crisis or emergency and who were facing difficulty with their mental health.

Fun Fact: While on a visit to Japan, I got trapped in Kyoto Train Station for 2 hours. No joke. I couldn’t find the right exit. 

Dawn O’Higgins

Dawn O’Higgins

Clinical Support Worker

Study: I spent three years studying for an honours degree in Social Care in Dublin Institute of Technology. After this I worked in the world of Social Care for two years before moving to Cork and studying for a masters in Social Work at University College Cork. What is the difference between Social Care and Social Work, I hear you say?! Social Care uses shared life-space opportunities (such as residential units or day centres) to meet the physical, social and emotional needs of young people or adults who are in need or at risk for various reasons including; neglect, abuse, illness, disability, old age or poverty. Social Work aims to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems. Social Workers can be case managers and draw on services run by Social Care Workers for the people they are working with.  

Work: As a Social Care Worker and Social Worker I have worked with young people in many different settings including; residential care, student support, disabilities and throughcare/aftercare. Most recently, I lived in Scotland working with young people aged 14- 26 in the Throughcare/Aftercare system. I supported young people in their journey through care and their journey into emerging adulthood. A significant part of my role in this team was supporting young people with their mental health as mental health support can be a significant challenge facing young people in care. 

Fun Fact: I love converse runners – you name the colour, I have had it at some point! I currently own about 10pairs and have my eye on at least 3 more. Shoes in general are my Achilles heel!

Brona Wynne

Brona Wynne

Clinical Support Worker

Study: After finishing school I went to NUI Maynooth where I studied Psychology through Science. After my degree I completed a Masters in Applied Psychology in Trinity and because I’m a glutton for punishment I went back to complete my Doctorate in Clinical Psychology which I just finished in August 2016.

Work: I have worked in the Psychology Department in Beaumont Hospital, in a place called Headway which was a support service for people who had an acquired brain injury and as part of my Doctorate I have completed 6 different placements working with children, adolescents and adults in a range of different settings. All of this work involved supporting people to take care of their mental health.

Fun Fact: I completed a 30,000ft sky-dive to help me to feel less nervous on aeroplanes…..it didn’t really make a difference but it was good fun.