Rory Mullan is 38 and originally from Limavady in the North West of Northern Ireland. Now living in Derry City, Rory has worked in the field of community development for over 15 years. Rory has worked on a range of community projects, both at home and overseas, dealing with issues such as homelessness, disability and suicide prevention.
Rory’s interest in community development came to the fore when he began traveling following his graduation from Queens University, Belfast. He said, “After University, I travelled throughout Asia and Australia which was very important in terms of my personal development. Traveling broadened my outlook and ignited a greater interest in the world around me.”
This experience had a significant impact on Rory, who went on to work in community development projects ranging from homeless shelters in Pittsburgh, managing farm co-operatives in Zambia and implementing natural disaster plans in India.
After seven years abroad, Rory returned home to put the skills and knowledge he had developed into improving the community he grew up in. This included volunteering with the Samaritans in Derry for seven years, community inclusion projects with the Londonderry Musical Society, and even helping to restore a derelict school into a community hub! Currently, Rory works as a support worker with children with learning disabilities.
Rory commented, “Northern Ireland has come a long way in the last twenty years. I’m proud to be a part of initiatives which at their core develop the local community, while contributing to the wider aspiration of a truly shared Northern Ireland.”
This year, Rory joins a team of fellow community activists across the UK taking part in The Big Lunch community walk. Rory said “I’m relishing the opportunity to meet ordinary people doing extraordinary things every day. I look forward to promoting the many benefits of volunteerism which will hopefully act as a catalyst for increasing community activism in the places I visit.”
He continues, “As a walker, I hope to complete the journey across our beautiful countryside and along the way encourage people to embrace the many benefits of exploring the outdoors in their local area.”