Total: £0.00

 Mailing ListTwitterFacebook  YouTube

When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Sid McDowell CBE

Sid was a senior trade union official for almost thirty years before serving as Chairman of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive from 1995 until 2004.

Sid is active in the voluntary and private sector, and previously chaired Housing Rights Service Preventing Possession initiative.

He gives us his thoughts on what creates a sense of home.

You need to have a sense of ‘home’. Somewhere you can feel happy, secure, warm and comfortable. Somewhere you look forward to returning to from trips away or from work. Such a home was created for myself and my three sons by my late wife Iris. She created a sense of home whether in our normal place of living or on holiday in West Cork. Home was not therefore a particular place or building but what was created within that structure.

My monosyllabic response to Iris’s enquiry about how my day at work went was ‘fine’. In contrast she prepared appetising evening meals, insisted that they were taken around the dining table and we listened intently to her wonderful descriptions of what she did, who she met, her frustrations with jobsworths and bureaucrats and the passion she brought to  advocating on behalf of people with disabilities and to her love of music. For us all she was a home maker and to return home from my working visits in London and, from the plane, see the welcoming spread of lights over the Lagan Valley and to have the warm reassurance that I would soon experience my particular sense of home was very special indeed.

Everyone should have the opportunity to have a place within which they can create a sense of home remembering always that places can be and are being repossessed; we do well to remember that in repossessing houses ‘a sense of home’ – happiness, security, warmth, comfort -  may be destroyed