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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is to be a leader in creating
a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

Belfast Healthy Cities Staff

Anne McCusker

Programme Manager

Anne graduated from Queen’s University Belfast in 2013 with an MSSc in Social and Community Development and in 2004 with a BA in International Business Studies from Ulster University. Anne joined Belfast Healthy Cities in 2013 as Policy and Project Officer. Prior to this she worked for voluntary sector organisations developing and delivering programmes on health and wellbeing. Currently Anne is leading the development of the Health Literacy programme and also supports the Health Inequalities and Healthy Ageing programmes. Recent work includes the Reducing Inequalities: Getting Results Flagship Training Programme and development of the Walkability Assessment for Healthy Ageing tool. Anne has experience delivering training across a number of these work themes. Anne has a keen interest in holistic therapies and sports.

Caroline Scott

Communication & Events Coordinator

Caroline graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast in 1994 with a degree in Sociology. Prior to joining Belfast Healthy Cities in 2002, she worked for Praxis and The Cedar Foundation. Since joining Belfast Healthy Cities she has worked in a number of roles and is currently Secretariat for the WHO European Healthy Cities Network, which the Belfast office has held since 2009. Through her various roles she has developed a range of skills, in particular extensive experience in conference and event facilitation and management. She also completed a Certificate in Public Health Promotion at the Open University. Outside work, Caroline enjoys music, theatre, film, travel, reading and sport.

Joan Devlin

Chief Executive

Joan Devlin is Chief Executive of Belfast Healthy Cities and has responsibility for delivering the World Health Organization (WHO) healthy city requirements with key stakeholders in the city, on behalf of Belfast.  Joan has significant experience in intersectoral public health work, contributes locally to building capacity and developing innovative projects to address health, well-being and inequalities, many of which have been transferred across Europe.

She has acted as a WHO Adviser, contributing to the development of Healthy Cities’ across WHO Europe; presented on behalf of WHO at international conferences and served as chair of the WHO European Healthy Cities Advisory Committee.  From 2009 Joan has led the WHO Secretariat, working directly with WHO Regional Office for Europe, which provides the opportunity to share the expertise and innovation from WHO Europe on relevant subjects across Belfast.

Prior to working for Healthy Cities, Joan was employed by Save the Children and worked locally and across the UK in the areas of childcare; family work; community development & health and evaluation. Joan is a founder member and chair of CDHN (Community Development & Health Network), represents Belfast in the WHO European Healthy Cities Network and as an associate member of the Ireland Healthy Counties & Cities Network.  

Joan has two children; enjoys walking, going to local theatre; spends some time travelling in Europe and whilst at home, enjoys sewing and restyling.   

Aranvir Singh Gawera

Programme Officer

Aran graduated from University College London in 2018 with a BSc in Urban Planning, Design and Management. Aran joined Belfast Healthy Cities as a programme officer. Prior to this, he worked in the Local Plans team at Leicester City Council, developing policies relating to climate change, the natural environment, open space, sports, and recreation, and achieving well designed and healthy new homes. Aran is also a Trustee of the Town and Country Planning Association, Non-executive Director of Public Practice, and advisor to the Women in Planning Network.

Currently, his focus is on the priority issues agreed on the Phase VII themes of Place and Planet. He is working to develop the Greening the City programme and support the Child Friendly Places and Healthy Transport agendas.

Outside work, Aran enjoys sports, live music, comedy, poetry, Netflix and travel.