LOCAL social work student Emer Clancey has been recognised for her sterling work at Dillon Court in Strabane.
Emer was awarded the ‘Involving Service Users’ award at a special presentation facilitated by council for the Homeless NI in The Guildhall.
Described by her colleagues as, “Always striving to improve the lives of others,” Emer herself is committed to supporting others in their hour of need.
Despite having only worked at Dillon Court for six months, Emer’s colleagues, and the judges, saw that she had made a lasting impression with everyone she met. Her highlight was organising a very successful fun day with a barbecue, where she supported the service users to get involved and take ownership of delivering their own event.
The judging panel, comprising of Bernie Heery (Council for the Homeless NI), Eddie Doherty (NIHE) and Rev David Lattimer, was impressed by all 47 entrants but said that Emer excelled herself by working tirelessly to improve the lives of service users.
Bernie Heery commented, “The homeless services are funded through ‘supporting people’, but unfortunately this funding stream has been frozen for nine years and providers are encountering unavoidable financial pressures as the cost of living, wages and pension contributions continue to increase.
“The sector is campaigning hard and successfully secured a one-off £2.6million allocation for the programme.
“We need the funding to be increased in line with inflation so that our frontline staff are not facing a reduction in real terms as they have for the past nine years.”
If you should find yourself in housing difficulty, you should contact the Housing Executive (Tel: 0344 892 0900) as a first step. They will advise you on which of the available services is most suitable to help you. All services are professional and confidential.
The Homelessness Heroes event, part of a week long programme of activity for Homelessness Awareness Week, is an annual campaign to help the general public understand the dynamic of homelessness and where to get help, if needed.