Jonathan Hodge

Jonathan is Chief Executive of the Hope Centre in Ballymena, a community-based addiction charity which provides support to people of all ages who are affected by, or at risk, of addiction. It also provides support to families and carers as well as opportunities for volunteers. Jonathan has worked in the community and voluntary sector for over 15 years and started his career working as a regeneration co-ordinator in the former mining towns and villages in the South Wales Valleys. Since then he has worked in a number of roles dealing with issues as diverse as economic development, regeneration, mental health and the arts. He has a particular interest in Loyalist and working-class Protestant communities and continues to work extensively in areas such as Greater Shankill and East Antrim on issues relating to those communities including peace and reconciliation. He is currently undertaking postgraduate research at Ulster University into media, arts, and the representation of Loyalists and working-class Protestants on film. Jonathan recently organised the Woodvale Festival, the first major culture and arts festival in Belfast’s Greater Shankill area. He is also the chairperson of Beat Carnival.