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All the best: Sarah Quinlan on her favourite things

By Kerry McKittrick

Published 21/12/2015

Credit - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph
Belfast , UK - December 18, pictured is Sarah Quinlan in Belfast , Northern Ireland on December 18 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )
Credit - Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph Belfast , UK - December 18, pictured is Sarah Quinlan in Belfast , Northern Ireland on December 18 ( Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph )

The 34-year-old is the chief executive of the Children’s Heartbeat Trust, a charity supporting families of children with heart disease in Northern Ireland. She lives in Belfast with her fiance Kevin.

My best moment

I just got engaged about three weeks ago so that was a good moment. We were away for the weekend in Co Kildare and went out for a walk in the pelting rain when Kevin proposed. It was such a beautiful part of the world and I wasn’t expecting it at all.

My best song

It has to be Michael Jackson’s The Way You Make Me Feel. He was my favourite singer when I was growing up. I’m the youngest of six and there was a lot of Michael Jackson played in our house in the Eighties. My sister used to sing this song constantly and it always puts me in a good mood and makes me want to go dancing.

My best way to relax

I’ve recently started doing yoga and I now love it. I go to the Flow Studio in Belfast and it’s quite tough — definitely not a lie there and breathe deeply sort of class. I’m already feeling the benefit — I’m more relaxed but I feel like I’ve done a workout and my posture is better. I run a lot and it’s even helped with that too.

My best job

I’ve been with the Children’s Heartbeat Trust for six years now, and I have been chief executive for the last year and a half. I have a lovely job — I get to work with really great families and be with them on the different parts of their journey which is a real privilege. Also, because we work so closely with these families we can see the impact our work has on them. I’m also very fortunate to have a great team around me too.

My best advice

I give kudos to my dad who has always told us to be kind and listen well. It’s not always an easy thing to do but it’s good to remind yourself to think about that.

My best gift

When I was 10 my godfather bought me green Levi 501s. They were the coolest thing anyone has ever bought me — it helped that he lived in London. I think I wore them to death for about two years.

My best achievement

That would be running the Hands Up campaign about children’s heart surgery in Northern Ireland. We were calling for a children’s heart surgical network in Ireland. The campaign highlighted the needs of these children and their families and put children’s heart disease to the forefront of the healthcare agenda. A lot of people don’t understand that children can get heart disease and they think it’s the domain of older people. We had rallies in Belfast as well as events at Stormont and made our voices heard.

My best buy

It’s a tiny little water puppet souvenir that Kevin and I brought back from Vietnam. A little piece of it fell off a couple of weeks later, but we still keep it out because it reminds us of a really wonderful holiday.

My best film

I like to think I’m a movie buff, but then I talk to people who actually are and I realise I’m not. My favourite film is The Usual Suspects because no matter how many times I watch it I’m still surprised at the end

My best book

The Count Of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas. It has a bit of everything — adventure, spirit, betrayal and love. It’s a phenomenal book. I read a lot and, although I like the classics, I enjoy a mixture of books

  • For more information on the Children’s Heartbeat Trust go to

Belfast Telegraph

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