Thursday, 10 September 2020

Debbie Trimmer and Jackie Kernachan have been recognised as Local Legends for their dedication to helping people experiencing homelessness and difficult times.

Through their work at local agency WestAus Crisis, the pair assist people in need with crisis support, emergency accommodation, food aid, tenancy advice, advocacy and referrals to other agencies.

Mayor Rhys Williams said Debbie, a housing support worker, and Jackie, a homelessness support worker, deserved recognition for the work they do in the community, helping to prevent homelessness within the Peel region.

Their work includes helping homeless and street present people to find secure, long-term accommodation, and also those who may be at risk of losing their tenancy or staying at refuges, youth shelters or with family and friends.

“These incredible support workers do an amazing job in our community, helping people get through some really tough times, and treating their customers with great respect and dignity,” Mayor Williams said.

“Both Debbie and Jackie make it their mission to walk side by side with people, and help them get back on their feet through a whole range of different situations. They both go above and beyond to make sure people are supported the whole way through the process, and offer encouragement along the way.

“I’m so proud of the work they are doing as it makes a real difference to people’s lives, with an issue that is very real and personal.”

Debbie and Jackie agreed the job was made so rewarding by the relationships formed along the way.

“I love doing what I do as it’s about helping others to achieve their individual goals. We work with people on a personal basis, steering them towards where they want to be, and providing referrals and support along the way,” Debbie said.

“Some people have never presented to an agency before, so it can be daunting. When people come to us, we want them to leave with their dignity, you can’t put a price on that. It’s important to treat people well.”

Jackie has also worked in the field for many years. She said a great part of her job was seeing people get long-term housing.

“The relationships you develop are wonderful, and it’s all about the people you meet along the way. It’s a real pleasure to be able to help someone overcome the issues they face,” Jackie said.