Meet the Team: Chris Meneilly

Give a brief outline of your career to date.

Leaving school in 2006, I got my first job with Play.com while also volunteering for The Lilac Service which supported children with physical disabilities in mainstream school and college settings all across Northern Ireland.  About six months later I became employed by The Lilac Service while also becoming a Youth Support Officer (youth worker) within Fleming Fulton School.

I was responsible for our finance, administration, graphic design, website and disability awareness sessions.  During those years I got to work a very varied job, wearing many different hats because the team was so small with no two days the same but this is where I found my passion for raising awareness of living with a disability and giving talks and presentations across the country at various teacher and education conferences.  In the evenings, I supported the young people of Fleming Fulton, facilitating them socialising both with their peers and their able-bodied counterparts.

After over seven years with Lilac and Fleming Fulton school, I then came to work at CILNI in May 2015 as an Independent Living Advisor.

 

What does your job in CILNI entail?

I am responsible for advising and supporting our service users on many different aspects of the support available to them to live as independently as possible.  I always want to promote our service users having complete control over how their care needs are met.  Really, my role as an advisor is to give our service users the knowledge along each step of the way in taking control of their own care and support.

 

What is a typical day like?

Each day is a little different but there, especially at this time, are always updates and changes to keep on top first thing in the morning then I may be on our phone rotation or have outgoing calls to make.  I may be helping a service user with calculating a new budget or setting them up as a new employer or advocating alongside them or on their behalf with their local health trust.  Occasionally,  I also do outreach work in the form of training delivered to health trust staff or general talks and presentations to various support groups within the Belfast and South Eastern Trust areas.

 

What do you like most about your job?

Helping in some way to make the lives of our service users and their families easier is the most rewarding feeling there is.  Life can be complicated enough so I love having the opportunity to be able to help to take even a little of that away.

 

Favourite sports or pastimes:

I love exercising, sport, reading and playing Xbox.  I also love a nice meal out and cinema or a few cocktails with friends and family.

 

What is your favourite;

 Song:  Almost Hear You Sigh – The Rolling Stones

Movie: Avatar / Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Book: The Catcher In The Rye