NI Chair comments on new Commissioner for Children and Young People

Northern Ireland news
22 June 2023

A new commissioner for children and young people has been announced by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

Chris Quinn will take over the role later this year – succeeding Koulla Yiasouma.

Commenting on the new appointment, Dr Richard Wilson, chair of RCPsych in Northern Ireland, said:

“Many congratulations to Chris Quinn. We look forward to working with him as he takes up this vital role.

“Never have the issues surrounding children and young people been so important considering the fallout from the pandemic and now we’re living in a cost of living crisis.

“It’s paramount that issues surrounding the mental health of our children and young people, are kept at the forefront.

“I’d also like to thank outgoing commissioner Koulla, for all her hard work and the passion she brought to the role.”

Mr Quinn started his career working in the Star Neighbourhood Centre in north Belfast before taking up employment with the Bytes Project working with young people in communities across Belfast.

He worked for Belfast City Council as children and young people’s co-ordinator from 2004-2008, where he set up the council’s first Youth Council.

In 2008, he took up the role of director at the NI Youth Forum, where he served for 15 years managing the organisation through the review of public administration and supporting young people to lead the youth forum through a changing policy and funding environment.

He has supported young people to present to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in 2015, 2016 and 2023.

Mr Quinn is a qualified youth and community worker, having graduated from the University of Ulster with a Master’s degree focusing on youth participation in decision-making.

Mr Quinn will take up his post for a four-year term beginning 18 September 2023.

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