Alan Herron succeeds Jacqueline O’Loughlin as Chief Executive of PlayBoard NI on 27 June, following her retirement.

Alan has served as PlayBoard’s Director of Service Delivery and Development since 2009 and has more than 20 years’ experience working in the community/voluntary sector.

Patricia Lewsley-Mooney CBE, PlayBoard Chairperson commented:

“On behalf of the PlayBoard Board of Directors I would like to congratulate Alan Herron on his appointment as Chief Executive. As a member of the leadership team, Alan has played a major part in helping the organisation to further the development of children and young people’s play across Northern Ireland, and brings a wealth of experience to this new challenge. We look forward to working with Alan to continue to progress the aims and vision of PlayBoard in the future.”

As Director of Service Delivery and Development, Alan was responsible for overseeing the delivery of a broad range of PlayBoard services including policy and development, advocacy, research and programme evaluation, and the development and delivery of school and community-based play programmes.

In his previous position, Alan played a significant role in the development of Northern Ireland’s first ever play and leisure policy, and was involved in the development and implementation of the Bright Start childcare programme. Alan also led on the development of play strategies at local council level, working to enhance access to quality play opportunities and experiences for all children and young people.

Speaking on his appointment as PlayBoard CEO, Alan said:

“Having spent the past 13 years as PlayBoard’s Director of Service Delivery and Development, it is an absolute privilege and an honour to be appointed as the next CEO of PlayBoard. 

“Since its establishment in 1985, PlayBoard has led the way in transforming children and young people’s play opportunities and experiences across Northern Ireland. I look forward to working with our highly skilled, talented and committed staff team as we seek to further expand and grow our influence at a strategic level whilst delivering essential play services at local and community level.”

Alan added, “As I take up this important position, I would like to thank the Board of Directors for the faith they have shown in appointing me to lead PlayBoard over the coming years. I would also like to thank the outgoing CEO, Jacqueline O’Loughlin who, over the past 25 years has shown remarkable vision, guidance and leadership for both PlayBoard and the wider play sector across Northern Ireland, the UK and beyond.”