Ciara At The Housing Awards

MACS was delighted to be a finalist for two awards and a further shortlist for partnership work at the All Ireland Housing Awards 2024.

Congratulations to all the winners🥳🏆 You can read more about the nominated MACS projects in this Good Practice Compendium, which showcases the outstanding achievements of housing professionals across the island of Ireland.

Outstanding contribution to housing

Ciará Scollay

This award is for an individual who has consistently gone the extra mile during their career in housing. Ciará’s nomination form stated that

“She is a strong-willed individual who can drive change forward and is not afraid to take on the challenge. From the start, she developed our hugely successful Prison Resettlement Team, working with young people deemed ‘hard to reach’. She developed relationships that had referrals triple within the project’s first year, and her ethos, kindness, and approach to working with staff and young people in this project are truly breathtaking.

She has also been instrumental in the success of our Shared Tenancy Project, and again, her tenacity and drive for change have meant that this creative approach to the housing crisis has been allowed to flourish. She also leads the Floating Support across the North of Ireland, that are supporting over 300 young people at any one time who are experiencing or threatened with homelessness; she has put this project on the map with her aspirations and desire to change not just young people’s lives but also her whole team’s ethos towards passion and commitment for housing change. Not one to rest, she has also recently completed her MSC in Youth Justice, researching Young Men’s Resettlement Experiences, from Hydebank Wood, Particularly Concerning Housing Experiences – comments from her supervisors included “Some of the findings are hugely significant, perhaps more so than the student themselves identifies.” Ciará is a powerhouse, and no person can match her consistency in driving change through the organisation and the communities we work in, all while being done in true Ciará style “with the best interest of our young people at the fore.”

Best Housing Story

Tony,  Belfast Floating Support

This award celebrates contributions that have positively impacted the lives of tenants, residents or communities. Tony’s nomination form stated

Being care experienced often means transitioning to adulthood quicker than others; no better example is Tony. Tony is a young person supported by MACS and whom we would like to nominate for Best Housing Story.

Tony has had many adverse experiences in his life that have shaped the young man he has become today. Tony experienced loss and separation at a young age, followed in the years to come by huge periods of housing instability, including periods of homelessness and time spent in prison. Tony had several tenancies that he struggled to maintain for various reasons such as anti-social behaviour, not tenancy ready, and suffering from grief. Fast forward a few years, and with the support from MACS Floating Support, Tony has overcome significant obstacles to improve his housing outcomes and those in his local community. Tony is now settled in his flat and is giving back to the community; he volunteers at Peoples Kitchen, giving back to homeless people; he is dedicated – he never misses a shift and always arrives with a big smile.

Tony also hopes to become a peer mentor through MACS, educating young people through the preventative side of homelessness to improve their outcomes; he has been interviewed by local radio and newspapers and is a huge advocate for making change. Tony is one in a million. His commitment to supporting others and making a change is outstanding. We are very proud of him.”

Working in Partnership

House to Home, Habitat for Humanity Ireland in Partnership with Greenview Group & MACS

This award commends collaboration between organisations or groups that achieve the best possible outcomes. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Ireland; they have worked collaboratively to support our young people in turning their tenancies into homes – feedback from young people has included.

“House 2 Home really helped me out! I’m suffering with chronic pain and was not able to reach certain parts of my home. They kindly came and let me pick my paint colours and discussed where exactly I wanted done, and they done it. Absolutely amazingly, if I may add. They also went through safety checks in my home such as fuse checks, fire alarm and carbon monoxide alarms and what to do if they go off etc. They were so helpful in more ways than one! As a young girl living alone with physical and mental restrictions, they helped make what felt impossible for me, possible. They helped make my house feel that bit more like a home.”