28 year old Kate Gorman from Carrickfergus received the Volunteer of the Year Award at the recent Northern Ireland Life After Stroke Awards which took place in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast as part of Action on Stroke month.
Health Minister Edwin Poots, Government and Health representatives honoured the achievements of stroke survivors, their carers and supporters at the event. Local celebrities also attended including event host and Northern Ireland Stroke Association patron, BBC’s Noel Thompson, Belfast Citybeat Radio presenter Sara Neill and acclaimed artist Paul Bell.
Tom Richardson, Northern Ireland Director, Stroke Association comments;
“Over the last few years, Kate has proven to be one of our most active and supportive volunteers. Having a stroke at aged 19 took its toll on Kate but despite her own personal health issues, she has regularly given up so much of her time to help others and create wider awareness of stroke. Kate volunteers for the Stroke Association Stage 3 group in Newtownabbey, but she has also been a leading light in awareness and media activity, doing media interviews, giving talks, offering her case study for newspaper articles and campaign publications. Her involvement with the Stroke Association has made a real difference and we are forever thankful for all her support.”
The winners this year ranged from 43 year old Roisin O’Neill who has dedicated most of her life to caring for her mother, to the amazing efforts of stroke survivor Raymond Kelly and his friends who raised thousands of pounds through the fantastic 575 Challenge, cycling 500 miles and climbing 7 mountain peaks in just 5 days!
A total of eight Awards were handed out at the event in what proved to be an inspiring and emotional evening for both winners and guests alike.
Health Minister Edwin Poots said; “The Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards demonstrates the excellent work across Northern Ireland to help support stroke sufferers and their families. They recognise the accomplishments of people who have been affected by, or who have had a stroke, overcoming personal challenges. The awards also give well deserved recognition to individuals and groups across the community who do so much to help stroke sufferers maximise their rehabilitation and recovery.”
Tom Richardson adds; “Around 34,000 people across Northern Ireland are currently living with the effects of stroke and each one is an inspiration to us all. May is Action on Stroke Month which focuses this year on raising awareness of mini-strokes or TIAs throughout Northern Ireland. The Life After Stroke Awards is such a significant event for us as it not only highlights how stroke can affect anyone at any age, but also the impact stroke can have on families and carers.”
For further information, please visit www.stroke.org.uk or facebook.com/strokeassociationni
A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at ww.stroke.org.uk