Highland housing officer hailed for '˜compassion' to refugees

HOUSING policy officer Gail Ward has been named Highland Council's Employee of the Year for the care and compassion she has shown in welcoming Syrian refugees to the north of Scotland on top of working with welfare reform.

Highland Council Employee of the Year Gail Ward. Picture: Contributed

David Goldie, the authority’s head of housing who nominated Gail, said: “Although Gail has always been a strong member of the team and displayed a genuine commitment and enthusiasm for the work she does, my reason for nominating her for this award relates to her willingness to take on and embrace the challenges associated with two of our most significant areas of work over the last year.

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“She genuinely cares about the impact welfare reform has on individuals and has worked tirelessly to help tenants with their problems and cope with fundamental changes to the way they receive their income.”

As well as this role, Gail has also played an important part in the Syrian refugee resettlement programme, having a very hands on role in building relationships with the families and supporting them through the difficult process of arriving and settling into a strange environment after the trauma of surviving the civil war and fleeing their country.

David added: “Gail has shown a genuine compassion and gone well beyond her normal work remit to make this project a success.”