Valerie Devaney has joined the Community & Cultural Section as the Community Worker for Celbridge-Leixlip Municipal District.
Valerie will provide community support by working with residents, community groups and other stakeholders to identify local needs and develop appropriate responses.
Valerie says, ‘I’m from Tipperary originally but moved to Kildare 19 years ago. I lived in Celbridge at one stage and worked at the Mill Community Centre, so I know the area quite well.
I have a great interest in social policy. I like to understand how decisions are made and how people are affected by them. That’s what led me to study Social Science at Maynooth University. I attended as a mature student, so I know from personal experience how adult education can change your life.
My first placement was with Kildare Traveller Action in Newbridge. I was involved in the primary health care programme there. I loved that job! It was a great grounding in community work.
I went on to work with County Kildare Leader Partnership, co-founding a structured day programme for people recovering from substance misuse with Kenny Hartnett. Getting the DARA project up and running is one of my proudest professional achievements. The programme is still going strong in Athy.
A friend of mine sent me the ad for the Kildare County Council Community Worker position and I applied because I want to be a voice for local communities within the local authority, and vice versa. I see my role as a bridge between the two.
I have my own areas of special interest, like disability rights and access, but I’m a big believer in letting things develop organically. The critical needs in Celbridge-Leixlip Municipal District will emerge and I look forward to working with everyone who is interested to address them’.
Valerie can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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