We are thrilled that Tim Haigh, who has served on Depaul International’s Board of Trustees for a number of years, has been honoured with an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours 2017 for “voluntary service to homeless people in the UK and particularly abroad”. Tim has made a remarkable contribution to the development of the Depaul Group of charities over the past 25 years. As one of the leading and most experienced of the Group’s Trustees, it was his vision, drive and commitment that went a long way towards making this growth possible.
John Darley, Chair of Trustees, said: “On behalf of Depaul International I would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Tim on being awarded the OBE. It reflects his tireless commitment and dedication to the service of those on the margins of society who find themselves homeless. His influence and guidance is recognised across the whole of the Depaul Group, both in the UK and internationally.”
Tim himself responded: “Delighted as I am with this honour, I happily accept it on behalf of all at Depaul and as a tribute to their efforts, here and abroad. It would never have come about but for such an inspiring group of staff, volunteers and supporters with whom it has been my privilege to work all these years, watching them turn our movement’s dream into such a worthwhile reality.”
Tim was originally appointed to the Board of the youth homelessness charity Depaul UK in 1990, becoming Chair of Trustees in 1992. He was an inspiring figure from those early days of the charity, bringing drive and determination as it grew to be one of the most respected charities helping vulnerable street homeless young people in London.
He was instrumental in the expansion of the organisation over the next decade from its roots in central London in the 1990s to national coverage in major cities in England. He went on to become a founding member of the Depaul Board in Ireland in 2002 as Depaul established the first cross-border charity tackling homelessness across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. This period saw Depaul leading pioneering work with homeless street drinkers in both countries.
He was a founding member of Depaul International in 2004 as the decision was taken to set up services for homeless people in other European countries besides the UK and Ireland, beginning with Slovakia and Ukraine, and more recently France. He has played a pivotal role in the past eight years as the Depaul Group has extended its work for homeless and vulnerable people not only within Europe but to the United States of America where it currently has programmes within six major cities. With a broader remit Depaul’s work now includes services working with families, older homeless people, those who are homeless with multiple needs ranging from mental health difficulties to drug and alcohol misuse, and providing support to those who are unemployed.
Mark McGreevy OBE, Chief Executive of the Depaul Group, who has worked with Tim throughout those 25 years of developing the Depaul charities, added his congratulations: “I am delighted that Tim has at last been recognised for his longstanding commitment to the cause of homelessness. Tim has provided inspirational leadership over the years and everyone at Depaul is proud of his many achievements.”
Martin Houghton-Brown, CEO of Depaul UK, said: “And I also give huge congratulations to Tim Haigh who, while continuing to offer his wisdom to the Board of Depaul International, will never be forgotten for the many years of voluntary effort he put into the work of Depaul UK to establish us as one of the leading voices in youth homelessness in Britain.”