DENIS Tully’s work at Emmanuel House was recognised when he was the recipient of the Padraic Sweeney Award for his services to the homeless people of Nottingham.
Tully, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the charity took the top award at the Nottingham Irish Golf Society’s presentation night at Ruddington Grange Golf Club where he was presented with a cheque for £1000 for the Emmanuel House charity.
“Denis only took over four years ago,” said fund chairman Willie Tunney. “And he has already made a huge difference to the charity. You’ve got to be a real optimist to take on a challenge like that but he has already proved he is well up for it.”
A surprised Tully said: “I thought I was just coming along for a cheque presentation so this is a huge surprise. It’s nice to be recognised and when I see the names on the trophy I’m delighted to be following in their footsteps.”
Tully came to this country from Dublin in 1978 and began his career as a youth worker and later joined the Parent Partnership Sevice. He ran a Surestart Centre for a number of years before taking over at Emmanuel House.
Since taking over he has built up the charity establishing much greater financial security, developing a secure structure, turning the Charity Shop around and building a strong public profile. Emmanuel House is now in the strongest position it has ever been, under ever-increasing pressures.
The Charity doesn’t get any financial help from national and local government and relies solely on donations from the public and companies but that could be about to change. “The powers-that-be have been impressed with the changes and improvement we have made,” said Tully. “And we may well be getting some grants in the future.
“We have a staff of 40 and we are looking at employing another nine. We also have about 200 volunteers so we are grateful for all the help we can get from the public.”
Tully is a gifted musician and plays numerous instruments, is a soloist in a Gospel Choir, a qualified life coach and a former youth coach and trainer and group leader.
He said: “The number of homless people is growing and we have to be ready for the challenge ahead.”.