The hugely successful Newtownards and District Charity Committee – which has distributed £181,000 to charities which serve Northern Ireland since it was founded in 1982 – has pulled a lovely Christmas cracker for the ME Association.
ME Association medical adviser, Dr Charles Shepherd, visited the Saturday market outside Newtownards Town Hall on Saturday, December 11, where he received a £2,000 cheque from members of the committee. The money was raised from a concert attended by 200 people in the Great Hall at Stormont in September and other charity events during the year.
We were nominated for a share of this year's fundraising proceeds by Karen Boville, who had to give up working five years ago after she was diagnosed with ME. “I wanted to do something for a charity which helped me, particularly when I first became ill”, said Karen, who has had to put plans for a promising career in accountancy on hold while she gets better.
Also present at the event were Ards Charity Committee chairman Dessie Coffey and local Assembly Member and Westminster MP Jim Shannon.
Our top photo outside Newtownards Town Hall shows committee members (from the left): Louise Smyth, Karen Boville, Paul Olphert and Daphne Coffey with Charles Shepherd.
The other scene is from the Stormont concert.