Charity worker who helps keep Hertfordshire youngsters off the streets nominated for role model award

Herts Young Homeless tenancy sustainment worker Fiona MacDonald who has been nominated for a Comet C

Herts Young Homeless tenancy sustainment worker Fiona MacDonald who has been nominated for a Comet Community Aawrd - Role Model of the Year - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin woman who goes ‘above and beyond’ to keep young people from sleeping on the streets of Herts has been nominated for Role Model of the Year in this year’s Comet Community Awards.

Fiona MacDonald has worked for charity Herts Young Homeless since 2003, helping people aged between 16 and 24 who need accommodation but cannot stay at their family home find a safe place to live.

Fiona was nominated by Jacqueline Harris, who works at North Hertfordshire Homes as a housing officer.

The pair have worked together to co-ordinate tenancy agreements for young people since 2011.

Jacqueline told the Comet: “I feel that she is a really good role model for people.

“She just goes above and beyond for her clients who are sometimes very young people.

“I just think the work she does is amazing.”

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Fiona, 43, said: “I am quite shocked.

“To me it is just part of doing my job and I do not think I do anything special.

“I love my job because everyday is different, some days I can be helping people with their tenancy contracts or applying for decorating grants or even just helping young people do things they don’t know how.

“This can be things like making them understand the importance of paying council tax, or setting up how to pay their bills.

“Some of them have had quite difficult lives but I try and tell them, well, this is day one and let’s try and make the rest of it great.

“I feel very lucky and I could not imagine doing anything else.”

Specsavers Stevenage sponsors the Role Model of the Year category, one of 12 which will see winners announced at a special awards ceremony in May.

Branch director Gail Maynard said: “We fully support the fantastic work which is being done in our community and it’s great to be involved in an event which highlights this.

“Role models play an important part in young people’s lives and give them someone to look up to.”

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