The founder of Kinship Care NI Jacqueline Williamson has been chosen as Derry City Council’s Woman of the Year 2014, at a ceremony held in the City Hotel.
Jacqueline has been prominent in establishing, growing and developing the organisation during her fifteen years of service and had a lead role in establishing a range of support groups for carers throughout Northern Ireland, securing large amounts of funding for the charity as well as overseeing the start up of the Kinship Care Helpline.
Mayor Martin Reilly said: “Jacqueline is an incredibly passionate advocate who has worked in the voluntary sector to improve the lives of both children and carers in the current system.
“As chair of Kinship her hard work and dedication has helped to enhance the circumstances in which children and carers may find themselves in isolated circumstances. She is an inspiration for the Kinship care mission and for all who are involved or have used their services.
“Using her own personal experiences of growing up within the care service, her passion for the role, dedication, commitment and desire has helped others in keeping them out of the system focusing on keeping families together. I am delighted that she has been given this recognition of Woman of the Year 2014.”
Other winners on the night were: Niree McMorris, Contribution to Women’s Community Development; Margaret Semple, Contribution to Health; Dawn McLaughlin, Contribution to Enterprise; Georgina Kee-McCarter & Arlene McLaughlin, Joint winners of Contribution to Community Relations, Joanne Scahill, Contribution to Community Safety; Karen Clift, Contribution to the Arts; Caroline Roddy, Contribution to Formal & Informal Education; Rosemary O Donnell, Contribution to Older People; Muriel Wallace, Contribution to Youth; Kiera Coyle, Contribution to Childcare; Liadhan McCourt, Contribution to Caring; and Adele Darby; Women Living with a Disability, Shanagh Henderson, Contribution for Young Women and for this first time this year Contribution to Trade Unions, sponsored by Unison was won by Ann Donnelly.
Further details on the awards can be obtained at www.derrycity.gov.uk/woman