Application Advisors are responsible for supporting each applicant through the application process, providing information, advice and advocacy as necessary and assessing applicant needs and applications for services. We have twelve Advisors who each currently manage over 200 applications at any one time. Caranua has recently organised the Advisors into teams, each with a Team Leader who is responsible for leading, supporting and ensuring the quality and effectiveness of the team.
Sinéad Dwyer has over ten years' experience as a qualified Social Worker working predominantly in Acute Adult Forensic and Psychiatric Settings. Sinead holds a Bachelor of Social Science and a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons). She joined Caranua in April 2015 and adopts a strength based and solution focused approach to her role and seeks to improve the responsiveness of other organisations to enhance the wellbeing of survivors especially those who vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.
Pádraig Hegarty joined Caranua in November 2015, with 13 years experience in the delivery of social services in the USA, Mexico and Ireland with people who are most disadvantaged. In New York he led a multi disciplinary team supporting the transition of people with special needs from state supported institutions to independent or group homes. Padraig has an Honours Degree in Social Studies and is currently studying a Masters in Social Studies.
Sorrena Megan has worked in the Social Care field for almost 17 years, ten of this at management and supervisory level. She holds a BSC in Social Science with Social Policy and a Post Graduate Diploma in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Her experience is predominately working with young people, adults and families at risk, including children in care, so she is very aware of the impact of institutionalisation and abuse on individuals.
Fiachra Barrett joined Caranua as an application advisor in October 2016. Before this, he spent 13 years working with marginalised and disadvantaged young people and their families in a youth justice setting. Fiachra has a Social Care Degree as well as a Post-graduate qualification in Social Research Skills and an M.A. in Social Justice and Public Policy.
Marguerite Bourke joined Caranua as an Application Advisor in June 2017. Prior to commencing with Caranua, she worked in community development, women in leadership, service provision and advocacy programmes with New Communities Partnership, Young Ballymun, Citizens Information Board, LYCS and Cairde. Client groups have included black and ethnic minority communities, children and families experiencing poverty, marginalised youth, adult learners and people with disabilities.
Patrick Cleary joined the Caranua team in January 2014 having worked before for several years with Citizens Information Services providing information, advice, advocacy and representation at Social Welfare, Small Claims and the Private Residential Tenancies Board. While there he completed the Information Provider Programme in the National College of Ireland, and in Employment Law through the Ballymun Law Society.
Meadhbh Devilly joined Caranua in June 2015 as a call line operator before being recruited to the role of Advisor in May 2016. She holds an Honours Bachelor degree in Business Management and has eight years customer service experience. Meadhbh strives to ensure that the best quality service is offered at all times and is passionate about assisting the clients with their applications.
Helena Doyle has a BA in Social Care and a Masters in Child, Family and Community Studies. Helena joined Caranua as an Application Advisor in February 2017. Prior to this, she has spent the past eight years working in homeless services with voluntary providers. She is passionate about helping people achieve the most out of their lives and providing a high quality service to those most in need.
Caroline McClure joined Caranua in August 2016 with over twenty years' experience in advocacy, campaigning and the delivery of services across a wide range of issues and needs. She has worked in Dublin, Belfast and Derry with young people with a learning disability, promoted volunteering and civic participation, community safety, affordable childcare and peace and reconciliation. Her motivation has always been to create positive change, in people’s lives and in society, especially with those who are the most disadvantaged.
Orlagh McHugh joined Caranua in December 2016. She holds an honours degree in Social Science with Social Policy from UCD and has over ten years experience working in the voluntary and community sectors, most recently in Australia where she worked with the Irish Australian Support Association of Queensland supporting Irish migrants in times of need or distress. Orlagh has a particular interest in Ireland’s Global Diaspora and in supporting survivors who are not resident in Ireland to have a fair opportunity to access the fund and other supports where necessary and leads on this element of our work.
Geraldine O’Connor joined Caranua as a call line operator in June 2014 before being recruited to the role of Advisor in April 2017. Previously Ger worked in administration in the voluntary and private sectors, most recently the Carmicheal Centre for Voluntary groups.
Natalya Vyshnevska came to Caranua in May 2014 with nine years' experience providing information, advice, advocacy in a busy Citizens Information centre in Dublin city, specialising in social welfare, employment, immigration, consumer and family law and providing representation at Employment Appeals Tribunals and Social Welfare. Natalya has degrees in Languages and Psychology, completed the Advocacy and Law course at the Institute of Technology Sligo and holds a Diploma in Human Resource Management from the National College of Ireland.