Ronald Cairns has been the Service Manager of Glen Alva Family Centre since September 1999. In 2015, Glen Alva will celebrate their 10 year anniversary in their present building which is operated through a joint management agreement with HELM housing.
This previous year has seen a substantial increase in the number of foreign nationals being referred by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (HSU). These families in some instances, are not entitled, to claim any benefits until they have resided in Northern Ireland for at least three months. The delays in processing benefit claims mean that more families are arriving with little or no money to pay for heating, electricity or food. Thanks to the generosity of local Corps, Churches, schools and individuals, Glen Alva has been able to help with all these essentials in the form of gas credits, electricity cards, shopping vouchers and non-perishable food.
The project staff provide a full team approach in relation to person-centred active support for each family on a daily basis. Key workers work closely with their individual families to ensure that short/medium-term support needs are identified and appropriate assistance and advice provided. They ensure that support networks are then firmly put in clients, once move out into the community.
For the first time, Glen Alva was offered free places to enable some of the children in the Service to attend the Divisional Summer Camp in July. These places were sponsored by Territorial Headquarters in London. It is hoped that this will continue in the years to come, with an increased number of children from Glen Alva attending this event.