Structure and Governance

Structure Governance Risk management Our people Staff profile

Jigsaw turned up the brightness in my life when things seemed the darkest.

A quote from a young person who attended
Jigsaw for support with their mental health


Jigsaw is a trading name of the National Centre for Youth Mental Health – Republic of Ireland Company Limited by Guarantee, a charitable company incorporated under the Companies Act 2014 on 31st May 2006. It is a Company Limited by Guarantee and does not have a share capital. It was established under a memorandum of association and is governed by a constitution.


Jigsaw is governed by a board of directors who work in a voluntary capacity. Directors are appointed for three-year terms, which are renewable twice (a total of nine years). The directors, who are non-executive, represent a diverse range of relevant expertise. On average, they meet six times a year and have responsibility for overseeing the business of the organisation.

The current board have the following skills and experience

Dr. Patricia O’Hara

Background / Employment
Former Chair of the National Statistics Board and former member of the European Statistical Governance Advisory Board

Skills / Experience
Policy development
Rural development
Governance Research
Public services

Dr. Jacinta Stewart

Background / Employment
Former CEO of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board

Skills / Experience
Youth policy
Public services
Quality standards
Equality, diversity and inclusion

Aoife Geraghty

Background / Employment
Finance Director at Folens Publications

Skills / Experience

Eamonn Gaffney

Background / Employment
Retired Principal St Peter’s Post Primary School, Dunboyne, Co Meath

Skills / Experience
Young people’s participation
Health promotion
Volunteer support

Dr. Martina Moloney

Background / Employment
Former Galway County Manager

Skills / Experience
Local government
Quality standards
Public services

Noel Mulvihill

Background / Employment
CEO of TLC Nursing Homes and former Assistance National Director at the HSE

Skills / Experience
Health services
Public services
Health promotion

Brian Geoghegan

Background / Employment
Businessman and former Chairman of FAS

Skills / Experience
Private sector

Dr. Justin Brophy

Background / Employment
Former Consultant Psychiatrist and Executive Clinical Director with the HSE

Skills / Experience
Mental health
Health sector
Quality standards

Mary Cunningham

Background / Employment
Director of the National Youth Council of Ireland

Skills / Experience
Youth policy
Young people’s participation
Community sector

Jennifer O’Sullivan

Background / Employment
Head of Legal, Founders Base Ireland

Skills / Experience
Youth perspective

Martin Scully

Background / Employment
CEO of Oyster Capital Partners

Skills / Experience
Private sector

It was friendly and open. I never felt I was here because there was something wrong with me

A quote from a young person who attended Jigsaw
for support with their mental health.

The board is supported by five sub-committees, which deal with specific aspects of the business of the organisation. The sub-committees in place are the finance sub-committee, HR and governance sub-committee, quality and safety sub-committee, schools sub-committee and audit sub-committee.

The board delegates the day-to-day management of Jigsaw to a senior management team, headed by the Chief Executive Officer and comprising of a Jigsaw Programme Director, Director of Clinical Governance, Head of Communications and Fundraising, Director of Finance, and Head of Quality, IT and Facilities.

The board do not receive payment for their services to Jigsaw. Expenses are reimbursed where claimed, full details of which are disclosed in the financial statements. There have been no arrangements entered into during 2018 in which a board member was materially interested. Jigsaw board members sign up to a code of conduct for directors and sign a declaration of interest form annually. A question asking if there are any conflicts of interest is a standing items on all board and sub-committee meeting agendas.

The HR and governance sub-committee conduct a skills audit of the needs of the organisation at board level as required. From this, the board and Chief Executive Officer seek to identify new directors to match the skills needed on the board.

Board members participate in formal and informal training across the year to aid their ongoing development. In 2018 they received a training update on child protection, took part in a workshop on public affairs and were provided with an introduction to the Trusted Charity quality assurance mark. Board members also undertook a review of board and sub-committee effectiveness.

Board Members Meeting attendance
Dr. Patricia O'Hara Chair (joined 9th November 2011) 6/6
Dr. Jacinta Stewart Vice Chair (joined 17th May 2017) 6/6
Greg Sparks (retired 21st November 2018) 5/6
Eamonn Gaffney (joined 21st May 2014) 5/6
Aoife Geraghty (joined 17th September 2014) 4/6
Dr. Martina Moloney (joined 16th September 2015) 6/6
Mary Cunningham (joined 27th January 2016) 5/6
Dr. Justin Brophy (joined 20th July 2016) 3/6
Noel Mulvihill (joined 20th July 2016) 3/6
Brian Geoghegan (joined 21st September 2016) 4/6
Jennifer O’Sullivan (joined 23rd May 2018) 3/4
Martin Scully (joined 21st November 2018) 1/1

Company Secretary
Blanaid Cleary

Senior Management Team
Chief Executive Officer Dr. Joseph Duffy
Director of Clinical Governance Dr. Gillian O’Brien
Director of Finance Blanaid Cleary
Head of Communications and Fundraising Mike Mansfield
Jigsaw Programme Director Sarah Cullinan
Head of Quality, IT and Facilities Regina Buckley

It’s a great service, and it really helped me through a rough time and helped me to change my thinking for the better

A quote from a young person who attended Jigsaw for support with their mental health

Audit Sub-committee
The role of the audit sub-committee is to keep under review the adequacy, scope and effectiveness of accounting and financial controls of activities carried out by Jigsaw.

The sub-committee is chaired by a board member, and consists of three other members, including one external member. The sub-committee should meet at least once a year, and more times if required.

Relevant staff members and additional board members attend as required. Youth advisory panel members may be requested to be in attendance.

For 2018, board member Greg Sparks attended meetings in place of the Chair, who was unable to attend due to health reasons.

Board Members Meeting attendance
Aoife Geraghty Chair 0/2
Greg Sparks (retired 21st November 2018) 2/2
Eamonn Gaffney 1/2
Brian Geoghegan 2/2
Sheelah Ryan External member 2/2

HR and Governance Sub-committee
The role of the HR and governance sub-committee is to keep under review policies and practices relating to the recruitment of board members and employment of staff. They consider the remuneration of the Chief Executive Officer and pay policy for all staff making recommendations in relation to salary ranges and increases.

The sub-committee is chaired by a board member, and consists of three other members, including one external member. The sub-committee should meet at least four times a year, and more times if required.

Relevant staff members attend as required.

Board Members Meeting attendance
Mary Cunningham Chair 5/6
Dr. Patricia O’Hara 1/1
Dr. Martina Moloney 4/6
Brian Geoghegan 3/6
Ruth D’Alton External member 6/6

Finance Sub-committee
The role of the finance sub-committee is to keep under review the financial and operational performance of Jigsaw.

The sub-committee is chaired by a board member, and consists of three other members, including one external member. The sub-committee should meet at least four times a year, and more times if required.

Relevant staff members attend as required. Youth advisory panel members may be requested to be in attendance.

Board Members Meeting attendance
Greg Sparks Chair (retired 21st November 2018) 5/5
Martin Scully Chair (joined 21st November 2018) 2/2
Dr. Jacinta Stewart 5/5
Aoife Geraghty 3/5
Graham Law External member 2/5

Quality and Safety Sub-committee
The role of the quality and safety sub-committee is to keep under review the quality and safety programme for Jigsaw, and ensure compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements. The sub-committee is chaired by a board member, and consists of four other members, including two external members. The sub-committee should meet at least four times a year, and more times if required.

The Chair of the board, Chief Executive Officer, Director of Clinical Governance and other members of the staff team attend as required. Youth advisory panel members may be requested to be in attendance.

Board Members Meeting attendance
Dr. Martina Moloney Chair 3/4
Noel Mulvihill 3/4
Mary Cunningham 3/4
Ian Daly External member 2/4
Paudie Galvin External member 2/2

Schools sub-committee
The role of the schools sub-committee is to assist the development of the Jigsaw schools initiative by providing strategic oversight and governance.

The sub-committee is chaired by a board member, and consists of three other members. The sub-committee should meet at least three times a year, and more times if required.

The Chair of the board, Chief Executive Officer and members of the staff team attend as required. Relevant staff members attend as required. Youth advisory panel members may be requested to be in attendance.

Board Members Meeting attendance
Greg Sparks Chair (retired 21st November 2018) 3/3
Eamonn Gaffney 3/3
Dr. Jacinta Stewart 2/3
Brian Geoghegan 1/2
Ruth D’Alton External member 6/6

At Jigsaw, it's vitally important to us to be open and honest in everything that we do. To actively demonstrate openness, transparency and integrity to our beneficiaries and donors, Jigsaw operates to the Charities Institute Ireland Triple Lock Standard of transparent reporting, good fundraising, and governance. This means that our board has formally adopted and monitors compliance with the Guidelines for Organisations on Fundraising from the Public and the Governance Code for the Community and Voluntary Sector (reviewed in early 2018), as set out by the Charities Regulator pursuant to section 14(1) (i) of the Charities Act 2009, to encourage and facilitate the better administration and management of charitable organisations.

There were no political contributions in 2018, and as a result no disclosures are required under the Electoral Act, 1997. Jigsaw is a registered lobbyist under the Lobbying Act 2015 and makes quarterly returns as appropriate.

Our financial accounts are published annually. They are prepared in accordance with the UK best practice Statement of Reporting Practice (FRS102), in the absence of statutory reporting standards for charities in Ireland. The accounting records of the company are maintained at Jigsaw, 16 Westland Square, Pearse Street, Dublin 2.

The board of directors are responsible for preparing the directors' report and the financial statements in accordance with Irish law and regulations. The directors believe they have complied with the requirements with regard to accounting records by employing people with appropriate expertise and by providing adequate resources to the financial function.

We have always lodged our reports with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) and Charities Regulator.

Our previous annual reports are available on our website,

Risk management

Jigsaw works with young people aged 12-25 and their surrounding communities to provide early intervention services and support for young people’s mental health. The very nature of our work means that we take on a degree of medium to high level risk in our core activity. We look to minimise this through our ongoing risk assessment process and controls, including the need to ensure our work is appropriately resourced, across our identified areas of risk.

Risk management roles and responsibilities

Board of Directors
Maintains strategic oversight of risk across the organisation through:

  • Consideration of the Chief Executive Officer’s risk trends report at each board meeting.
  • Annual review of risk and the risk management process from a strategic perspective.

Quality and Safety Sub-committee, Responsible for:

  • Regular review of corporate risk across the organisation.
  • Oversee implementation of the risk management by the executive to provide assurance that appropriate risk management processes are in place.
  • Overseeing compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements.
  • Specific oversight of the risk associated with clinical governance and items within the committee’s remit.

Other Sub-committees, Responsible for:

  • Identification of areas of risk and appropriate mitigation measures relevant to their sub-committee area.
  • Providing assurance to the Quality and Safety Sub-committee that risks have been identified and actions to mitigate against risks have been taken.
  • Supporting the executive in implementing recommendations to address risk.

Chief Executive Officer, Responsible for:

  • Including risk as a standing item in the Chief Executive Officer’s report to each board meeting.
  • Reporting high level risks and trends in risk to the Board.
  • On an annual basis bringing a report to the Board on organisational risk, including the executive’s recommendation in relation to priority risk areas to address in the coming year.
  • Reporting changes in the organisational/corporate risk register to the Board, including flagging any new risks that have emerged.

The Chief Executive Officer designates a Risk Officer with specific responsibility for:

  • Ensuring there is a risk policy and process.
  • Coordinating risk management and risk review.
  • Communication of the risk policy to staff.
  • Bringing risk considerations from other Board Sub-committees to the Quality and Safety Sub-committee.
  • Reporting to the Quality and Safety Sub-committee of the Board of Directors.

Senior Management Team
Each member of the Senior Management Team has responsibility for risk in their defined areas of responsibility, yet collectively the Senior Management Team holds responsibility for:

  • Reviewing risk across the organisation, i.e. across all risk domains as articulated in the risk register.
  • Implementation of risk policy across the organisation.
  • Continuously improving risk management policy, strategy and supporting framework.

Regional and Local Managers
Ensure staff in their teams comply with the risk management policy and foster a culture where risks can be identified and escalated by taking a lead role in developing and maintaining local risk registers.

Staff and Contractors
Responsible for informing themselves of risk policy, complying with risk management policies and procedures, this includes identifying risk and notifying relevant individuals with responsibility for managing risk.

The key components of Jigsaw’s internal control and risk management environment include the following:

  • An approved plan and annual budget against which progress is reported on a regular basis, including monthly financial reporting of actual results compared with budgets and forecasts.
  • Annual review of financial controls by an external auditor reported to the Audit Sub-committee.
  • Regular reviews across all areas of our operations with the results of each review reported to management, the Quality and Safety Sub-committee, and via the Chief Executive Officer, to the Board of Directors.
  • Key policies on clinical governance, child protection and welfare, safeguarding vulnerable adults, usage of IT, data protection, health and safety, complaints and reporting of the same.
  • Formal consideration by the Board of quarterly risk assessments and the risk management process, in which the charity’s operational internal controls have been reviewed.
  • A written policy on delegation of responsibility from the board to the executive and a segregation of duties policy.

we know mental health remains the number one concern for young people across Ireland.

Jigsaw - Our Strategy 2018–2020

Jigsaw operates a risk management process that culminates in a corporate risk register. This identifies the top risks, their likelihood and impact, and the consequent actions necessary to manage them effectively. Corporate risks and mitigating actions are regularly scrutinised at each quality and safety sub-committee meeting, and by the senior management team and the board of directors. The principal operational risks that we have identified, along with examples of our approach in managing them, are as follows:

  • Adverse incident involving a young person attending a Jigsaw service i.e. serious self-harm. Example of mitigating action: Child protection and safeguarding policy and training in place. Ongoing staff training, professional development and supervision
  • Risk to quality of Jigsaw service provided as a result of waiting times. Example of mitigating action: Development of new wider-range of services online and in schools. Increased capacity in each Jigsaw service, reviewed practice and referral management to see more young people sooner. Collection and evaluation of data on waiting times to facilitate improved analysis of our work and opportunities to improve
  • Premises – the challenge of locating suitable affordable premises for our services (both in relation to opening new services and evolving existing ones). Example of mitigating action: Policy and procedure for locating suitable premises being reviewed and updated. Engaged property professionals to assist in the identification and procurement of suitable premises
  • Challenge in the recruitment and retention of clinical staff. Example of mitigating action: Review and revision of employment benefits completed. New clearer and easier recruitment process implemented
  • Insuffcient funding. Example of mitigating action: Regular financial planning including budgeting and monitoring of income and expenditure. Developing a broader range of fundraising initiatives to avoid over dependence on one source
  • Reputation risk as a charity. Example of mitigating action: Comments and complaints policy (and reporting procedure to board and HSE) is in place. Ongoing monitoring of media. Crisis communications policy and process being reviewed and updated
  • Ineffciency as a result of poor IT infrastructure. Example of mitigating action: Review of IT infrastructure completed. New IT procedures and infrastructure being rolled out across the whole organization

Our risk register is underpinned by an annual plan of audits and reviews. Audits/reviews in 2018 carried out include:

  • External financial audit.
  • Regular supervision of clinical staff as per our clinical supervision policy.
  • An independent HSE evaluation of our services
  • A financial and governance audit by the HSE internal audit team
  • An independent data protection audit to review compliance under GDP

Jigsaw are fully compliant with the obligations of the National Vetting Bureau (Children and Vulnerable Adults) Act 2012. Jigsaw applies child protection policies, which are based on Children First (2017) and Our Duty to Care (2002), and best practice recruitment policies and procedures.

Our People

We strive to be a good employer, and at the end of 2018 we employed 143 people, working across our national office in Dublin and Jigsaw services around the country.

Our people work directly with young people and their communities on a daily basis, and know best the challenges they face. We engage with both staff and volunteers regularly and value their opinions and receive feedback through a variety of channels including our staff newsletter, Jigsaw Pieces, online forums such as Yammer, our Jigsaw Data System, regular team meetings, and our annual All Staff Day get-together.

During 2018 we consulted with and listened to our employees to inform our work towards achieving the Trusted Charity Mark, we also developed a network of Health and Wellbeing Champions who work together to engage colleagues in a range of healthy and enjoyable activities.

Jigsaw recognises the importance of attracting and retaining talented staff to ensure our continued success. We aim to maximise our impact in supporting young people and their communities, and doing this successfully means balancing different needs. These include ensuring value for money in everything we do including how we pay our staff, whilst offering a wage which enables us to attract, retain and motivate people with the right knowledge, experience and skills to do the complex work required.

We continue to invest in the learning and development of our people. Jigsaw staff are provided with a range of benefits and training courses including pension scheme, continued professional development and payment of professional membership fees.

Youth Advisory Panel
Since Jigsaw was founded in 2006, young people have been involved in helping us to develop and design our services.

Through a national and regional network of youth advisory panels, during 2018 over 150 youth volunteers aged 16-25 helped to inform and guide our decision making at all levels of the organisation.

Youth advisory panel members are represented on the board of directors, the board sub-committees, involved in recruitment of staff, represent Jigsaw at national and international events, and help us to make sure our work is relevant to the communities we support.

Very helpful and lovely people... gradually my confidence got better

A quote from a young person who attended Jigsaw for support with their mental health

2018 highlights and achievements
Over 70 youth advisory panel members took part in the sixth annual Youth Learning Network, coming together to share knowledge and plans for the next year

Two new youth advisory panels were established to support and inform the new Jigsaw services in Cork and Limerick

As part of our partnership with Three, one of our national youth advisory panel members took part in the production of a short film shared across social media during the Christmas period which looked to spread a simple One Good Adult message encouraging adults to be present and listen when a young person is looking for support. It proved to be a very successful social media campaign with over 600,000 views and 2000 shares

Youth advisory panel members from Jigsaw Dublin City took part in Dublin City Pride, marching together with staff and taking over the Jigsaw Instagram channel to share the experience of their day. Youth advisory panel members spoke on stage to the crowd on the topic of family

Youth advisory panel members from Jigsaw Cork took part in Cork City Pride, marching together with staff and taking over the Jigsaw Instagram channel to share the experience of their day

Youth advisory panel members in Jigsaw Limerick organised a special shine-a-light night-time boat parade on the river Shannon to highlight youth mental health for World Mental Health Day on Thursday 10th October

Two youth advisory panel members continue to attend board meetings and other youth advisory panel members are actively involved in board sub-committees

Staff profile: Dr. Cian Aherne, Clinical Coordinator

A clinical psychologist who worked with the CAMHS team in Tipperary, when Jigsaw Limerick opened in 2017 Cian was happy to be able to take up a role within what he believes is a truly progressive organisation.

Cian says since studying in University Limerick he’d always wanted to work in the area of youth mental health and is full of praise for his Jigsaw colleagues.

‘There is such a lovely buzz of energy. The people here are relatable and down-to-earth, but also creative and innovative, and are full of life and energy, which is what you need when working with young people.’

He says the magic of Jigsaw is the key role played by the Youth Advisory Panel. ‘We are constantly in touch with our Youth Advisory Panel, they inform everything we do.’

He points to one example where a Youth Advisory Panel member came up with the idea of a boat parade on the Shannon to mark the start of Mental Health Week.

‘The Shannon often has negative connotations in the area of mental health, but this young person’s idea was to shine a positive light on the river and it was a wonderful event, with 40 different organisations taking part, and about 1,000 people on the river bank shining torches.’

Young people’s message when developing a service is, ‘don’t create anything for us without us’, and Jigsaw’s adherence to this is what makes it so relevant, says Cian.

He says from the moment a young person accesses Jigsaw, the vibe is welcoming.

‘From simple things like being greeted with a smile, to the Lego man at reception, the message is one of welcome.’

A key part of Cian’s busy and varied workload is looking after each member of the team. ‘Team support is crucial. We make sure staff have space to reflect, it’s important people take time for themselves and be mindful in general of their own mental health, and when you are going out into the community to embody what you advocate.’

‘I love this work, and am really motivated by a service that listens, is flexible, and tries to keep on the cusp of things. I am positive about the future. We are engaging nationally with policymakers and advocating change, and you would have to be hopeful about the positive influence we can have.’

I love this work, and am really motivated by a service that listens, is flexible, and tries to keep on the cusp of things. I am positive about the future.

Dr. Cian Aherne, Clinical Coordinator, Jigsaw.