Tonight, we were awarded Highly Commended Housing Story in the Chartered Institute of Housing Awards.

This award celebrates contributions that have made a positive difference to the life of a tenant(s) or community. Each of the shortlisted nominations expressed in their own words why they should win. The winner was chosen by you through your public vote.

Dairine’s Story

Dairine a 20 year old care experienced young adult, came into care when she was 15 due to parental issues & risk taking behaviors. She came to MACS Newry when she was 18 years old. Before this, she experienced multiple moves due to her behavior which impacted on her sense of identity & feelings of security.

She has overcome significant obstacles to improve her housing outcome – she has successfully moved from MACS to accommodation of her own. This transition was huge for Dairine considering her fears and anxieties around not feeling secure and leaving what was her home for over 15 months.

She has achieved change through personal dedication and a positive attitude. Dairine despite her struggles, has always laughed and tried to see things on the bright side of life- not dwelling on what has been, but instead, using these struggles as a motivator to change her future.

Dairine has supported other young people in MACS Newry as a peer support and been a listening ear; a voice of reason; a good, loyal friend with an open door to all. Her commitment to supporting others hasn’t wavered since she left MACS. She is currently doing her OCN Level 2 in Youth Work and wants to return to MACS one day as a worker. She is committed and focused to achieve this outcome for herself.

Dairine has left a lasting impression on Staff in MACS – she said MACS made her feel secure and helped her build her sense of identity, which for a worker, is probably one of the most powerful statements a young person can say.  Liz Stevenson (Head of Services in Southern Trust) when speaking about Dairine, said this:

Dairine is one of the most wonderful & talented young adults that I have ever had the privilege of working alongside. She is resilient, kind and caring. She is very insightful and has empathy & understanding. She has developed a maturity almost beyond her age and is a wonderful role model.