Homelessness ‘workshop’ held in Ballymena

Dr Olive Buckley, OBE, Anne-Marie Doherty, NHSCT, Florence Hand, NHSCT, Jane Turnbull, Education and Development, Margaret Henry, CHNI, Jayne MCConaghie, PHA and Hayley Carey, NHSCT.

Dr Olive Buckley, OBE, Anne-Marie Doherty, NHSCT, Florence Hand, NHSCT, Jane Turnbull, Education and Development, Margaret Henry, CHNI, Jayne MCConaghie, PHA and Hayley Carey, NHSCT.

Ballymena was the chosen venue for a special workshop on homelessness across the Mid and East Antrim area.

Staff from the community, voluntary and statutory sectors attending the event highlighted the needs of the homeless community and the difficulties they have accessing appropriate care.

The Workshop was organised by the Enhancing Care for the Homeless (ECHO) group.

The ECHO group was set up in collaboration with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT), Primary Care, Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), Public Health Agency (PHA), Council for the Homeless Northern Ireland (CHNI), Women’s Aid, Extern, Lighthouse Hostel Ballymena and other voluntary, community and faith based organisations working with people experiencing homelessness.

It is hoped the multi-agency approach will encourage the effective deployment of resources and streamline service provision to this marginalised group within the local community.

The Chairperson of the ECHO group Dr Olive Buckley, OBE, stated: “The feedback from the workshop highlighted that we can only avert a crisis for the growing numbers of people affected by homelessness if we work together to develop and provide timely services to address their needs and enable them to move forward in their lives.”