Katherine Harford


Katherine Harford has been Programme Manager since YK was formally established in 2015. From 2012 she led an interagency partnership in the development of the Programme. So she has seen it grow from an idea to a reality! From 2008 to 2015 she was Manager of NICHE CLG, overseeing innovative community health programmes. She has previously worked in homeless services and in community development. She has a background in Social and Political Science, Community Development and Organisational Management. She is a founding member and former Chairperson of Cork Healthy Cities, and participates in a number of local, city and national networking and policy forums on issues of children’s development, social inclusion, equality and health. She lives in Cork City with her growing family!

Grace Walsh

Senior Oral Language Development Officer

Grace graduated from University College Cork with a BSc Hons in Speech and Language Therapy in 2009. Since then she has gained clinical experience in a variety of paediatric settings. Grace joined Young Knocknaheeny when it was established in 2015, and was seconded from her position as Senior Speech & Language Therapist (SLT) with HSE Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service until December 2019. Grace is passionate about developing the role of SLT in universal, prevention and promotion services to provide accessible information to all parents about how best to support their baby’s communication in the context of their relationship, ensuring a relational approach to meet families where they are at.

Sally O’Sullivan

Oral Language Development Officer

Sally graduated from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2010 with a BSc Hons in Speech and Language Therapy. She has gained clinical experience in a variety of settings, including early years centres, primary schools, private practice and H.S.E community clinics. Sally joined the Young Knocknaheeny team in 2015. Sally is passionate about using a play based approach to empower caregivers and families to achieve the best outcomes for children. Sally has a special interest in supporting children’s early communication development, which happens in the context of relationships with caregivers.

Jennifer Harte

Oral Language Development Officer

Jennifer graduated with a BSc. Hons Degree in Speech and Language Therapy in 2010 at UCC. Since, Jennifer has worked in a variety of areas, including with adolescents and young adults in an education centre, the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA), CAMHS and a Child Development Service in New Zealand. Jennifer also spent 6 years working as a researcher in UCC, working with children with speech and language disorders and children with spina bifida. Jennifer joined Let’s Grow Together in 2021 to help provide a community service that promotes communication skills in infants and young children and the importance of parent-child interactions, in order prevent the need for speech and language therapy in the future. Jennifer appreciates the value of research and using an evidence-based approach when working with families.

Tracie Lane

Infant Parent Support

Tracie has over 10 years’ experience of working in community development, health and early intervention projects in Cork city. Tracie is committed to ensuring that she is providing evidence based interventions through attending trainings, workshops and staying up to date with research. Tracie feels strongly about developing caregiver’s understanding of their child’s social and emotional development and how caregivers can use their relationship to support their child’s development. Tracie believes in empowering caregivers to recognise what they already do, and support them build on their own potential and strengths.

Maeve Donegan

Infant Parent Support

Maeve graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with a B.A. in Early Childhood studies in 2003. Since graduation Maeve has worked in family support services in different community based programmes. Maeve has always had an interest in children’s social and emotional development and completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy in 2007. Maeve was delighted to join the YK team in 2015 when it was first set up. She believes strongly that Early Intervention is so important for children and families so that they can be supported to reach their full potential. Maeve enjoys using play skills in her work particularly in the context of the parent-child relationship. Maeve also is passionate about offering universal groups across the community for all families in the area to access.

Suzanne Rigby

Infant Parent Support

Suzanne graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a B.A. (Hons) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care. Since graduating Suzanne has worked in a range of social care settings; working with children in care, domestic violence support services and in family support. She has a keen interest in offering prevention and early intervention strategies to families, infants and children to support them to break intergenerational cycles of trauma and poverty and to support child development. Suzanne works at the project full time.

Clíona Twohig

Infant Parent Support

Clíona graduated from Mary Immaculate College, Limerick with a B.A (Hons) in Early Childhood Care & Education. Since graduating Clíona has worked in community based Early Years and Family Support services while continuing professional development in trauma, empowering families and children, child and youth participation and restorative practice. Cliona has experience working within a multi-disciplinary team and believes that through working with the whole family unit better outcomes for the child will be achieved. She believes that empowering and supporting caregivers using a strengths based approach is key to forming strong relationships and breaking the cycle of trauma and poverty.

Katherine Manley

Infant Parent Support

Katherine graduated with a B.A (Hons) in Early years and childhood studies from UCC, working in the early years sector before returning to UCC to complete a MSC in Social Policy. Katherine went on to work in a community based Early Intervention centre continuing her professional development in trauma informed care, creative mindfulness and providing practical support to families within the community. Katherine has always been interested in a child’s social and emotional development and the importance of relationships in the Early Years. Katherine is both passionate and committed to the delivery of a high-quality service to the children and families she works with through prevention and early intervention strategies and a strengths-based approach.

Kathleen G

Kathleen Gildea

Early Years Mentor

Kathleen is the Early Years Mentor at Let’s Grow Together! She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Early Childhood Care, Health and Education. Kathleen has been fortunate to work with babies, young children and school age children in various settings in Ireland, Norway, New Zealand and Australia. Her worldwide experience has broadened her vision of quality and is something she supports other Early Years Practitioners to explore in the Northwest area of Cork City. She works in collaboration with organisations, management and Early Years Practitioners to deliver high quality, inclusive Early Childhood Care and Education for children and families.

Ellen Hegarty

Schools Community Support Worker

Ellen joined the Let’s Grow Together team as Schools Community Support Worker in 2021. Ellen has a Masters degree in Social Work with over 10 years’ experience working with families and community organisations. Ellen is passionate about promoting the social and emotional development of children, and believes that families and schools are best placed to support children to thrive and reach their full potential. Ellen uses a relational approach in her work with families and communities, as it is through relationships that we connect, learn and grow.

Lynn Buckley

Programme Officer

Lynn Buckley is Programme Officer with Young Knocknaheeny and joined the team in 2015. As part of her role, Lynn contributes to administrative, research and evaluation, and policy work. Within this role, Lynn also works as administrator for the KidScope Child Development Clinic. Lynn has an Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree and Master of Public Health Degree from University College Cork. As a recipient of the Irish Research Council’s Employment Based Postgraduate Award, Lynn is currently conducting a PhD through Young Knocknaheeny. As part of her PhD, Lynn is a SPHeRE Scholar, studying Public Health and Health Services Research through UCC and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.

Marian Clifford Cronin

Public Health Nurse (Child Health)

Marian Clifford Cronin (RGN RM RPHN) has worked as a Public Health Nurse in North Lee since 2001, specialising as a Schools PHN since 2010. Marian joined LGT in 2021 in the role of Public Health Nurse- Child Health (PHN-CH) and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in Child Health. Marian believes passionately in supporting and strengthening the parent-child relationship, and to improve their children’s developmental outcomes. Marian works closely with her PHN, Nursing and Midwifery Colleagues, the wider Multidisciplinary team and Stakeholders. Marian will act as a mechanism for effective relationships and processes between them, and together with her LGT colleagues, aims to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the children and their families in the community, encompassing our ethos that ‘No Child is Left behind’.