Eithne Connolly, a home-visiting volunteer with Home-Start Omagh District has received the Family Support Individual Recognition Award as part of the NI4kids Family Awards.

Eithne was nominated by Karen Colgan Guy. Karen and her family have been supported by Eithne over the past year, and she wrote to the judging panel to tell them of how much that support had helped her.

“Throughout the last year I was given a great privilege to have Home-Start Omagh come into my home and help me with my three children,” wrote Karen. “I was so lucky to be allocated the most kind and caring person in Eithne Connolly. Without her help I really don’t know where I would be today. She came and volunteered her time every week to come in and talk to me about whatever was going on in my life at that time and gave me great advice.”

Karen went on to say “My children have been made to feel like they were part of her family and totally love Eithne. Without her support and Home Start Omagh helping me gain confidence within myself again, and inviting me to any courses they had on for their volunteers, I would more than likely still be in a dark hole struggling to find my way out. This is an amazing organisation within our wee town of Omagh and they most certainly don’t get enough credit for all their hard work and dedication they give to people needing help.”

Eithne was selected from hundreds of nominations from across Northern Ireland by a panel of judges.

Both Eithne and Karen joined shortlisted finalists from across Northern Ireland at Belfast City Hall on 27th June for a spectacular gala awards ceremony in their honour, with Eithne being presented with the award by UTV presenter Rita Fitzgerald.

Home-Start Omagh coordinator Allison Spriggs said “We are extremely proud that Eithne’s hard work and commitment on behalf of our charity was recognised by NI4kids. Our volunteers are at the heart of all we do here at Home-Start Omagh. Although they differ in age and background, they are united in their non-judgemental outlook and their desire to help local families.”

Home-Start Omagh District was set up in 1994 and every year supports over 30 families and up to 80 children in the Omagh District area. Its team of volunteers provide free practical and emotional support for local families suffering with a range of problems.

If you think you can provide support to families why not find out about becoming a Home-Start volunteer. Get in touch with your local Home-Start them to find out about their volunteering opportunities.