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Karen Ciantar – IWD Spotlight

We invited some special guests for afternoon tea at the M&S Cafe at Glasgow Fort, to say thank you for their amazing hard work and dedication to their community, in honour of International Women’s Day 2019. Guests included Maureen Burke (Labour Councillor), Maureen Ferrie (Director of GESH charity), representatives from the Women’s Centre,  Karen Ciantar from Barnardos, Allison (Manager of M&) and Lorna (Manager of Boots). You can read more about Karen Ciantar and her acheivements below…

What does your job involve?

I have been employed by Barnardo’s for the past eight years and currently occupy the role of Children’s Services Manager for our youth invovlement and family support service in Easterhouse. This service comprises of a range of family support services offering support to families across the whole of the North East of Glasgow.

What motivates you?

The privilege of being able to lead and motivate our staff team to ensure we provide the best possible support packages to our families when they need us the most.

How do you motivate others?

I do my very best to embody our Barnardo’s basis and values which are:

  • Encouraging people to fulfill their potential
  • Working with Hope
  • Respecting the unique worth of every person
  • Exercising responsible stewardship

I strive to ensure that whatever we offer to our families embodies these fundamentals in a bid to ensure our support is delivered in the most timely and respectful manner possible.

Who are the inspirational women in your life?

From a wider perspective I really admire the work of Mother Theresa and Maya Angelou. I find their work selfless and truly inspiring.

On a day to day basis I feel very privileged to be supported by our team manager Mary Lynn who has been working at the Service since it became operational in 2003. I am truly inspired by Mary’s tenacity and relentless efforts to support our families. Her commitment to our work is truly motivating.

Tell us about your community involvement 

I feel very privileged to work in the community we serve. A day does not go by where we don’t experience real pride and joy in being able to witness our children and young people inspiring us with their resilience and ability to achieve so much despite all the adversities they face.

Apart from offering tailor made packages of support to our families I have been really keen to ensure that our Service extends it reach to all the communities we serve across the North East and ensure we are as well connected as we possibly can so that we can do our best to mitigate against the impact of poverty and deprivation whilst ensuring that our support is delivered in the most dignified manner possible. This translates into:

Offering our group-based interventions in a range of community venues across the North East of the City to ensure parity of access and build up an asset based approach in the areas we serve,

tapping into the generosity of our charity parents such as Marks and Spencer and other retailers at Glasgow Fort to provide invaluable resources and funding to boost our offers of support. A prime example of this is that the funds we have been able to raise through our charity events our funding our family/relationship counselling service

Focusing our efforts to ensure that we are working tirelessly to break down barriers that might be stopping our children, young people and parents accessing the wide range of fantastic community based initiatives on offer in the North East.

Would you like to add other notes?

Finally I would like to acknowledge the immense contribution of our fantastic staff team who are so dedicated to make a real difference to the lives of our children and young people.


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