Friday 19 April 2019

Moving story of hope stuns room

Business awards hears emotional story of triumph over adversity

Felicity and Andrew McCann at the Fingal Dublin Chamber Awards.
Felicity and Andrew McCann at the Fingal Dublin Chamber Awards.

Ken Phelan

There was one winner of the recent Fingal Dublin Chamber Business Excellence and CSR Awards who had more reasons to celebrate his award than most as it marked a dramatic turnaround in his life.

Fingal Citizens Information Service was delighted to win the 'Best Public Service Award' at the Fingal Dublin Chamber Business Excellence and CSR Awards 2018, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel recently and the service's development manager, Andrew McCann told the audience at the awards just why the recognition meant so much.

At the gala event, hosted by Marty Whelan, and with over 500 attendees, the Fingal Citizens Information Service was also short-listed for 'Best Not For Profit Organisation and 'Best Customer Service - Services Sector.'

Andrew McCann, Development Manager of the service gave an emotional acceptance speech which had a huge impact on the room, including the host, who was also overcome with his words.

Mr McCann said: 'Five years ago tonight I sat in the audience, unsuccessful. Less than two weeks later my wife passed away. I have not been back to the Awards evening since then.

'A year ago I was diagnosed with cancer, completed my treatment and surgery, and I am now cancer-free.

'I was also lucky enough to have meet a beautiful lady, who I married in July this year.

'This award is the icing on the cake.' Mr McCann received a standing ovation from the audience for his inspiring words.

He said his job, and focusing on the 'best interests of the public and team', had helped him through 'these difficult years', and thanked the Chair and the Board for supporting him, and for allowing him to continue work during his cancer treatment.

He also thanked his team, who 'pulled together, in my absence, and ensured the service maintained its excellent service to the public.'

In 2017, Fingal Citizens Information Service supported over 180,000 people in North Fingal, answering over 24,000 queries and connecting with over 18,500 caller contacts.

The service, via its four centres in Swords, Skerries, Balbriggan and Malahide, opens to the public for over 125 hours per week via its team of over 80 people, including volunteers.

The service won awards of over €56,000 for clients in 2017, and closed 60 complex advocacy cases, spending over 1,200 hours alone on this work.

Citizens Information provides free, impartial and confidential assistance and advocacy to clients on all their rights and entitlements, across all social and civic entitlements.

The team are committed to providing a comprehensive quality and consistent free service to the public.

Fingal Independent