Monday 22 January 2018

Homeless campaigner Erica up for 'best mum' award

Erica with daughter Emily Photo: Tony Gavin
Erica with daughter Emily Photo: Tony Gavin

Homeless campaigner Erica Fleming is in the running to be named as Ireland's best mother.

The Dublin mum, who appeared in the RTE documentary My Homeless Family, is one of three Dublin nominees for the Women's Way and Beko Mum of the Year award.

Erica and her 10-year-old daughter, Emily, have been living in a hotel room with no access to cooking or laundry facilities.

"I can't believe it. I'm thrilled," Erica (30) told the Herald.

The competition, now in its 13th year, often receives nominations from friends and family of mothers. However, Erica (30) said she had been nominated by a complete stranger.

"It was actually one of my Facebook followers who nominated me," she said.

"I never knew about any competition before I got the call from Woman's Way," she added.

Erica added that she hopes the nomination will dispel any "negative opinions" about lone parents.

"I think being nominated and being whittled down to the final 15 shows that a lone parent can do just as much good as two parents," she said.

Marie Moffitt, from Swords, has also been nominated - selected for her inspiring story of finding her long-lost family.

Adopted at a young age, Marie (60) reached out to and met her birth mother and siblings in later life.

"I thought if I didn't do it, I would always be sorry but I also realised that, once I sent the letter, it was out there and there was no going back," she said.

Meanwhile, Carmel Fay, from Lusk, sealed a place after overcoming depression following the birth of her youngest daughter, Grace.

The winner will be revealed at the Festival of Women in September.

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