CANS Board has 7 members of various nationalities, cultures, faiths and experience including psychiatry, medicine, finance, management, academia and education. At any time at least 5 members of the Board must be from a minority ethnic group.
Dr. M. Satish Kumar FRGS, FHEA, RCS
Dr M. Satish Kumar was the former Director of Queen’s Academy India and is the Director for Internationalisation for the School of Natural and Built Environment. With over 32 years of experience in HE, Dr Kumar is a leading international expert on colonial and postcolonial studies focused on South Asia, covering many social sciences and humanities areas. His knowledge and expertise are widely sought by Governments, charities and other national and international organisations. At Queen’s-NBE he is the Co-Champion for SWAN/Athena initiative and the Academic Lead for Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI). He contributes to the Board of Directors, for Cordovan Capital Management Group; Trócaire Northern Ireland, and Member of the Expert Committee on Business and Ethics, 2019; and ArtsEkta. He was awarded the 2020 Belfast Ambassador Medal for his standout contribution to the City in raising awareness about the historic linkages between India and Northern Ireland. The Queen’s University Teaching Award (2014) and the Bhoovigyan (Earth Scientist) National Leadership Award-India (2002) for contributions to Population, Environment and Development Studies.
Dr. Linda Agnew MB, BCh, MRCGP
GP with an interest in mental health and multicultural medicine. Honorary lecturer in Queen’s University, teaching medical students modules in multicultural medicine, psychological trauma and human trafficking.
Mr John Boddu M.Tech, MBA
A global MBA graduate with a dual Masters degree. An experienced banking, finance, and compliance professional. Significant commercial experience, as well as a strong desire to contribute to the well-being of communities and the planet. I have over six years of professional experience working for HSBC, Amazon, and Citibank.
Dr Daniel Gboloo-Teye MBChB, MRCPsych
Board Member and Finance Team
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with interests in Crisis Assessment and Intensive Intervention Teams, Young people with Drugs and Alcohol Mental Health problems. Involved in teaching and training junior colleagues and medical students.
Mrs Pashmina Kashif
Moved to Belfast in 2005. Gained Masters Degree in Applied Psychology from Pakistan in 2001 and went back to university to do Masters in Psychological Sciences from Queen’s University Belfast in 2020. Passionate about working for the BAME community, I joined Belfast Islamic Centre in 2014. Served the community for 8 years before moving on to my current role as a Psychology Assistant at Education Authority’ s Psychology Services. I have worked with CANS as a facilitator for Mental Health Awareness Sessions, delivering these sessions to BAME communities. Alongside my job I also work at Belfast Adult ADHD Clinic in Belfast, as an assistant psychologist.
Mrs Angela Martin
School teacher with many years experience of working with children and young people from a variety of backgrounds. Successful and smooth transition to online teaching during the pandemic. Honours degree in Psychology and a Masters in Education focusing on equity and diversity in the classroom. Boardroom Apprentice 2019/2020.
INFORMATION CORRECT AS OF JUNE 2023
Mr Lekan Ojo-Okiji Abasi
HPD in Counselling, NCS Accredited, Member EMDR All-Ireland.
As a Community development worker for over 20 years in greater Belfast area, I am a Bilingual Professional Counsellor, founding member and Clinical Co-ordinator of Counselling All Nations Services (CANS). I genuinely care about the welfare and wellbeing of people, and as part of my role, I want to support people to make a difference to their lives and wellbeing at every opportunity, particularly in relation to issues of diversity and equality of opportunity. I have over 8 years’ experience of delivering Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing Talking Therapies service supporting people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities in NI dealing with emotional wellbeing issues, and in some cases suicidal ideation. I have significant experience of working with people providing bilingual one-to-one therapeutic talking therapies support, exploring issues that might be causing them psychological / emotional problems or difficulties. With additional skillset of working with Community Mental Health Trained Interpreter.
My clinical area of expertise are: Addiction; Anger Management; Anxiety & Stress; Bereavement & Loss; Depression; Interpersonal or Relationship difficulties; Self Esteem; Self Harm; Suicide; and Trauma.
Mrs Jurita Naumane
Deputy Clinical Co-Ordinator
Over the last 10 years of my therapeutic practice, I started by volunteering, then working in different counselling and therapeutic settings in Northern Ireland such as: Cruse Bereavement Care, Contact NI / Lifeline and Counselling All Nations Services (CANS).
In CANS I have received unique training in counselling through the medium of interpreters and EMDR training, which is powerful therapeutic approach that helps people affected by trauma. As a bilingual Practitioner (Latvian, Russian) I do offer native language psychological therapies.
CANS created an opportunity for me to progress from a Volunteer Sessional Counsellor (2014) to the full time paid staff member.
In my current position with CANS, I am privileged to continue broadening my experience of working with clients from diverse backgrounds, cultures, languages, and presented issues alongside with supporting CANS management with their organisational and clinical co-ordinating needs.
My professional Membership: Graduate Member with BPsS. Professional Accredited Member with NCPS; Member with BACP and EMDR All-Ireland.
INFORMATION CORRECT AS OF JUNE 2023
Ms Magdalena Matejkowska
RQF Level 7, MSc in Psychology, Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling TC-L4
My initial degree in Psychology and experience working with people from different cultural backgrounds has underpinned my work and ignited my interest in psychotherapy and EMDR that is powerful therapeutic approach that helps people recover from problems triggered by traumatic events in their lives.
The approach that I use in my practice is the Integrative one which takes the components from CBT, EMDR, Person-centred & Psychodynamic skills to provide tailor therapy in a way which is bespoke for my clients and meets their individual needs.
At the centre of my approach is the emphasis on forming a sound therapeutic relationship with my client. This is a relationship where the client is the focus and where they can be supported in a safe space to grow in their understanding of themselves and their issues.
Professional Membership: MBACP MBPsS EMDR-Al Ireland Practitioner working towards Accreditation.
Ms Francesca A Dada
I am originally from Nigeria, I have settled well in Northern Ireland. I started my counselling career in 2016 with Northern Regional College, where I graduated as a bilingual counsellor. I further my counselling career in 2019 to East Belfast Cognitive Therapy to widen my knowledge on how to support people suffering with different anxiety. In 2020, I went back to (Southern Regional College) to study Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to gained more understanding on how to continue to support people with different stages of mental health problem. I am a registered member of MBACP working towards my accreditation. I joined CANs as a student counsellor in 2016, where I worked as a volunteer counsellor for two years. After I qualified in 2018 I continue to work as a sessional bilingual counsellor. In 2021 till date. I joined CANs as a part- time staff. Over the years I have gained experience working with CANs in many different ways e.g working with interpreter, working with diversity, ethic minority, supporting, signposting and networking etc. Furthermore, CANs have supported me to gained knowledge in the area of supporting people with trauma by sending me for a training under the EMDR training Accredited by EMDR Europe to continue to support people
Ms Tin Wai Chan
Integrative approach was used with informed practice of Mindfulness, Compassion, EMDR, Attachment-Focus EMDR, ReAttach therapy, Internal Family System, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Trauma.
Clients with presentation of anxiety, social anxiety, depression, emotional and physical abuse, trauma, bereavement, pain, fibromyalgia, bully, substance abuse, NI troubles, domestic violence and PTSD were encountered.
Accredited practitioner with EMDR All-Ireland
Accredited professional registrant with NC&PS
Member of BACP
Ms Sonja Tammen
My name is Sonja Tammen, and I am a trauma trained counsellor at Counselling All Nations. My background is in integrative counselling, using humanistic, somatic, psychodynamic, creative and CBT approaches to find the very best support tailored to your needs. Although a person might feel very low, alone or confused, I believe that everyone has the power in themselves to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing, to be happier and more content, and I am aiming to assist you on this exciting journey. My two languages are German and English. Since 2007, I have been working with individuals who are highly traumatised. I hold a Degree in Psychological Trauma (Queens University 2014), a Counselling Foundation Degree (Ulster University 2019) and I am currently in the final stages of becoming a Somatic Practitioner (October 2023).
Mrs Anna Sikora
Sessional Art Psychotherapist
I am an Art Psychotherapist, originally from Poland, who graduated from Ulster University. The MSc Art Psychotherapy course at Ulster University has the Health Care Professional Council accreditation (HCPC). I am registered with the British Association of Art Therapists (BAAT) and an individual member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).
I work for CANS since 2020, providing individual sessions for our diverse clients. I have experience working with adults, adolescents, and children with various problems, such as depression, anxiety, stress, and grief. I value the fact that each client is unique and has unique needs in therapy. Through creative expression, connection, and compassion I work with clients who experience difficulty in finding the words to express their emotions. My role as a therapist is to support each of them in their journey for better well-being and to improve their resilience.
Mrs Vivian Ogundipe
I joined CANS in 2018 and gained experience working with clients in a culture-sensitive way from diverse backgrounds, cultures and languages. I have experience working with various clients, including children, adolescents and adults. I offer all of my clients professional and confidential counselling, where we work through any problems my clients bring up. As an integrative counsellor, I combine elements of CBT, humanistic, and psychodynamic techniques. I assist clients in overcoming the barriers that are keeping them from leading life to the full. I create a secure, encouraging, and judgment-free environment to experience empathy and understanding as you work through challenging difficulties.
I adhere to the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy's (BACP) code of ethics.
Counselling - Professional Development - BSc (Hons)
INFORMATION CORRECT AS OF JUNE 2023
Mrs Mariam Naz
Part-Time Administrative Support
I moved to Belfast around 3 years ago for pursuing my interest in research. I am currently completing a PhD at “Queens University Belfast” in “Social Work” and my research is about “Changing Fatherhood”. My educational background is in “Gender and Development Studies” and in addition to that I have worked voluntarily in Pakistan with children from less privileged areas and communities under a project held by “British Council”. While working here at CANS I got a chance to fairly utilise my previous educational and field knowledge and gain an insight of working with BAME communities in an administration capacity.
Ms Joy Wangui Kirii
Part-Time Administrative Support
I am Joy Kirii, currently serving as part-time administrative support for Counselling For All Nations while pursuing my passion for technology as a Master's student in Software Development at Queen's University Belfast. I bring to the table a unique combination of technical and administrative skills, assisting with tasks ranging from maintaining office systems to preparing financial reports. In addition to my administrative duties, I am deeply committed to the charity's mission of providing accessible counselling services, often working with individuals from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds.