Accolade for Allyson’s empty homes work

Allyson (centre) is presented with her certificate.
Allyson (centre) is presented with her certificate.
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The woman responsible for filling empty homes in the Falkirk and Bo’ness area has been recognised with a prestigious award.

Allyson Allison was crowned as Scotland’s Outstanding Empty Homes Practitioner by the homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland, at an event last Thursday.

There is a national shortage of homes in Scotland, and the Forth Valley area is no different.

Meanwhile, there are 23,000 long-term empty homes in Scotland, many of which are eyesores in local communities.

Appointed as Empty Homes Officer for the Falkirk and Stirling council areas in 2013, Allyson has managed to bring more than 130 empty properties back into use.

Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “Today’s conference is our opportunity to celebrate the outstanding people and innovative work happening across Scotland which really makes a difference to communities with empty properties.

“Allyson has been described as a force of nature, bringing her passion for empty homes work to everyone she comes in contact with. Her success is down to her ability to think outside the box to solve problems – like convincing colleagues to get a bus shelter moved to help sell an empty home!

“The words ‘give up’ are not in her vocabulary.”

Allyson, who has worked for Falkirk Council for 30 years, said the award was a “fantastic surprise”.

She added: “It’ll be great if this raises the profile of the Empty Homes Project and the issue of empty homes across Scotland.

“I love the variety that my job brings and I really enjoy working with people –listening to them, motivating them and being able to