Amanda Gilmour

Profile picture of Amanda Gilmour

I work with homeless families and wanted to improve my knowledge to best support the people I work with.

What was your journey to DCU like, is there anything you think makes your journey unique?: I didn't always work in Social Care, I was Office Manager for ten years then, on the birth of my first child, I left the workforce to focus on raising  my family. That sabbatical lasted over twenty years! During that time I was very much involved with various community/voluntary projects which ultimately led me to working with homeless families upon my return to work four years ago. When I was nominated for the DCU CHPI course through work, curiosity outweighed fear, together with the desire for knowledge regarding best practice in supporting homeless families, so I jumped at the opportunity. As a mature (more like antique!) student, I was definitely technologically challenged. Navigating my way around the laptop, not to mention loop was a course in itself! The support available to me however was amazing. From the DCU website which is a wealth of information,  to the course tutors themselves, there is a genuine desire to support you to succeed.

What were your preconceptions before joining DCU, if any?: To be honest I didn't know what to expect, I was just going to go with it, do my best, and see how far I got. 

What surprised you most after coming to DCU?: The mix of students in the class - there were people of all ages, and yes, one or two were even older than me!  

What is one piece of advice would you give to an incoming student?: Start assignments as soon as you get them. Break them down into bite sized pieces. Do one section/paragraph at a time and make it the best it can be. Also, the tutors are very approachable. Being able to email them for feedback on assignments was really important to me as it gave me reassurance that I was on the right track.

What is one piece of advice you give to yourself starting your DCU journey again?: To get a handle on referencing!!

What is your favourite memory of /thing about DCU so far?: Being in the classroom - the guest speakers were excellent as were the tutors, and of course the friendships I made with the other classmates is something I'll take with me beyond my time in DCU.  There were great networking opportunities too, I enjoyed studying alongside other professionals in the field, building relationships, sharing ideas and learning from others.

What do you hope your future after completing this degree will be like?: I will continue to work with homeless families but will have a greater understanding of the trauma they have experienced on the path to homelessness.

Anything else you would like to say on your testimonial?: I highly recommend this course. It provides a wealth of invaluable information and contacts and would go as far as saying it should be compulsory for anyone working in the homeless sector. Given that Homelessness is a complex issue, often influenced by factors such as poverty, lack of affordable housing, mental health and substance abuse issues, the course will help anyone working with homeless families/individuals to gain a deeper understanding of these issues to best support those they work with.

DCU Prospectus - Go back to Homeless Prevention and Intervention