Award for Albert for lengthy service

ALBERT RETIRES. . . .Albert Smallwoods, MBE, President, Home Accident Prevention NI pictured receiving an award from Collette Craig (HAP Foyle) on the occasion of his retirement as president. On right is Mrs. Vivian Smallwoods.

ALBERT RETIRES. . . .Albert Smallwoods, MBE, President, Home Accident Prevention NI pictured receiving an award from Collette Craig (HAP Foyle) on the occasion of his retirement as president. On right is Mrs. Vivian Smallwoods.

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He’s been with the committee for 49 years, chairman for 13 years, vice president for five years and president for the past 16 years.

And the Home Accident Prevention Committee has now honoured Albert Smallwoods with a special award to mark five decades of service.

On Wednesday last week, exactly 50 years to the day of the first meeting the committee held a special event in Derry.

Albert said he was honoured to receive the award adding that he had to be thankful that the work that is being done is proving useful.

“In 1965 there were 171 deaths,” he said. “Unfortunately this continued to rise and in 1979 there were 381 deaths. But from there the number has reduced to 87.”

Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland held last week’s event to celebrate its formation 50 years ago. Members of HAP NI travelled from all over Northern Ireland to attend this special occasion along with other practitioners who work to support families and older members of the community.

The event was hosted by the Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District Council, Councillor, Elisha McCallion.

Keynote speakers looked back at the history of home safety and accident prevention work, at current initiatives and to the future in trying to reduce the number of accidents further. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Health presented its new Home Accident Prevention Strategy for 2015-2025 to the interested audience.

HAP NI focuses their efforts towards trying to reduce home accidents happening to older people and very young children.

Throughout the year local HAP groups provide talks, information sessions and in conjunction with Councils offer Home Safety advice visits.

Kieran Cranny, Acting Chairperson of HAP NI said: “Every year accidents injure hundreds of people in Northern Ireland, leaving many members of our community with life changing injuries. We hope that by providing lots of clear practical advice that we can help ensure that the people we love stay healthy and happy and safely on their feet”