Fire-fighter Claire takes on new challenge

Claire Crilly


An Enniskillen born fire-fighter is doing her bit to ease the suffering of the people of Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the country’s civil war.

Claire Crilly (27), now living in Liverpool, will fly out to Colombo on September 14 for 12 weeks to help assist people who are suffering from mental health problems as a result of the conflict.


Claire has been working for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service as a fire-fighter since 2009, having previously studied at university in the city.

She intends to become a trauma counsellor and has been studying for her counselling qualifications outside of work.

Last year Claire travelled to Mityana in Uganda to deliver fire safety training to young children in schools and it is from that experience she has decided to make the trip to Sri Lanka.

“It really opened my eyes and I gained such fulfilment from it that I wanted to do more work like this.

“I came across SLV charity which stands for Sri Lankan volunteers. It was set up by psychology graduates in 2009 to assist people who were suffering mental health problems from the consequences of the civil war there.”

Claire is fundraising ahead of her trip, with her target sum £1,250, which covers her training, food and accommodation whilst there.

She paid for flights, visa, insurance and vaccinations herself.


“I absolutely cannot wait to go. I feel mental health is still a taboo subject even in this country, which is why it is fantastic that charities like this are starting up in a country where the people have endured over 20 years of trauma from the civil war.

“It is vital work.

“I just know I’m going to love it as it is something I am truly passionate about. It will be humbling and rewarding as a real learning experience.”

You can help donate to Claire’s trip by visiting her Pledge page at

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