Irene has been involved in the community for 35 years. She helped set up the playscheme in the SDNC. Irene was the first administration worker for the SDNC before going on to work for Social Work Department as a Community Work Assistant. She was also instrumental in saving Thomson Street from the demolishers by organising demonstrations and sit ins in the school and a march to the City Chambers to challenge Councillors. The school was saved for another 18 months and was then transferred to the ownership of the Association who developed it into housing for the community. Irene went on to university and obtained a part diploma in Community Work. She then went on to become Project Leader with Community Support Group (Dementia). The project provides respite services and support for people with dementia and their carers. Irene understands the complex nature of issues relating to communities both in her professional and volunteer capacity. Irene’s holistic experience helps her to identify and target issues affecting the local communities. Irene has just retired from Social Work Department in September 2010.
Irene joined the housing association management committee in 1985 and was Chairperson of the Association from 1995 to 2000 and also Secretary? (time). She is also involved with the Finance and Staff and Training Sub-Committees and Chairperson of the Housing Services Sub-Committee.
Irene is also a Trainer with SHARE the training organisation for housing associations, specialising in roles and responsibilities of committee members, mentoring chairpersons and was a member of the committee who developed the SVQ qualification in Governance for Committee Members.
Irene is the representative member of SFHA.
Irene strongly believes in people power and people empowerment and gave evidence to a Scottish Select Committee on the disadvantages of the Right to Buy policy.