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Davy F

Please give an outline of your career to date.

I am currently one of the Senior Practitioners working at the Belfast Foyer. I have been working for the Simon Community for over twenty five years. I have worked at several sites that include 414, Falls Road, the old Cliftonpark Avenue site, Cavehill, which was the first Joint Commission beds for care leavers and then the Belfast Foyer where I work.

What lead you to your role with the charity?

I always had an interest in Homelessness and helping people help themselves.

Describe your role and the work you do?

I am one of the Senior Practitioners here at the Belfast Foyer. I work and support both clients and staff. We provide Housing based support to clients, we assess individuals needs at move in and tailor support plans to meet these needs as well as working in partnership with other agencies in a multi-disciplinary way to meet these support needs. The Foyer client group present with multiple high, complex needs with high risks around drug and alcohol misuse, poor mental health, debt, and isolation. Many of our clients have come through the criminal justice system, are from a care background, have already had multiple temporary addresses, are socially isolated from family at a young age and have lived transiently in numerous hostels.

What’s been the best and most challenging aspects of your job?

The best aspect of the job is meeting ex clients who have returned to the Foyer with their success stories, the high point being when a client moves into their own tenancy or back with family. At this point the full effect of the culmination of support is recognised and celebrated. We pride ourselves in being a high tolerant unit and accept the high risks that is associated with are client group.

Why is this work important to you?

This work is about making connections with young people who have been socially isolated and disenfranchised, this job is about people, clients and staff. I am still motivated to come to work on a daily basis because of the clients and great staff we have at the Foyer.

How do you relax outside of work?

I spend time with my young grandchildren. I love music and have a vast record collection that I listen to. I play guitar and several other musical instruments, and I walk everywhere.

What has been your proudest moment, so far, at Simon?

This is hard as there have been so many positives from ex clients, but the best recent proudest moment has been where an ex-client has returned to the Foyer and is working with our current resident group and staff and my hope is that she will become a full-time staff member at the Foyer.

What advice would you give to people considering a similar career path?

I would advise that working in the Homeless sector can be a big challenge but that the positives will always outnumber the negatives.

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