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Barnardo’s NI Advisory Board

Chair: Colin Walsh

Colin is Chief Executive and founder of Crescent Capital NI Limited and has been an active venture capital investor in Northern Ireland companies for 19 years.

An International MBA by background, Colin spent six years with Top Technology between 1988 and 1994. Top Technology was a London-based fund manager responsible for the management of the successful Hambro Advanced Technology Trust family of venture capital funds. In 1995 Colin, sponsored by Hambros Bank Limited, established Hambro Northern Ireland Venture Managers Limited, now known as Crescent. Colin is currently a Director of Balcas Limited and NiSoft UK Limited, Fusion Antibodies Limited, Biznet Solutions Limited and Replify Limited.

Colin became Chair of the Northern Ireland committee in autumn 2014. He also sits on Barnardo's UK Board of Trustees.

Lady Christine Eames O.B.E.

Lady Eames previously held the position of World President of the Mothers Union and between 2001 – 2007 and was Commissioner for Human Rights in Northern Ireland. Her current positions include Trustee of the Central Board of Christian Aid, Governor Hunterhouse College Belfast and Patron of Homestart NI.

Mukesh Sharma MBE DL

Mukesh is the former Managing Director of World Travel Centre, Northern Ireland's largest travel company. In 2012 along with others he founded the Northern Ireland Forum for the Travel and Tourism Industry. From 2006-13 he was Chair of Newtownabbey Borough Council Good Relations Partnership tackling exclusion and safeguarding a stable society.  In 2016 he was appointed as Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Executive Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.

Mukesh was awarded an MBE in the 2016 New Year's Honours List for 'Services to the Travel Industiry in Northern Ireland'. He also holds the title of Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast.

In a voluntary capacity Mukesh has served and still serves as a Board member for ArtsEkta, Moving on Music and the Indian Community Centre.

Sophie Hayles

Sophie is an experienced arts professional in the public and private sectors, as a project director, relationship manager, strategist and fundraiser. Prior to moving to Belfast in 2015 Sophie led on fundraising for a European Capital of Culture Programme in Aarhus, Denmark and was previously Strategic Relations Manager at Whitechapel Gallery, London. She is currently Manager, Creative Europe Desk Northern Ireland at the British Council, providing specialist support to screen, cultural and creative sector companies seeking to develop their European and International projects and networks. Current positions include Chair of the Board, Creative Exchange Artists' Studios, and Board Member, Arts & Business NI.

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