Belfast Telegraph

Best Volunteer - Pat McKay

Presented by Majella McCloskey, Director CO3

Pat McKay is an exceptional woman and an inspiration to everyone. The Dunmurry woman’s selfless attitude and hard work ensure families throughout Northern Ireland have a listening ear and someone who knows what they are going through, as they experience the heartache of a family member having Huntington’s disease.

So far, she has devoted a decade of her life to the Huntington’s Disease Association and manages a 24/7 helpline.

Pat had a huge smile on her face as she received some long overdue recognition for the fantastic work that she does supporting people in their time of need. “I’m feeling fantastic,” she said.

“I’ve been nominated for other awards before, but I have never won. It’s just a joy to receive this.

“Whenever I was going through this there was no one that I could talk to as a carer and a mother and a wife.

“So, when my husband and oldest son died I said to myself I’ve got this bit of time now, I’m going to do this and make myself available to others because they have no one to talk to.”

Pat’s second son is now symptomatic of Huntingdon’s Disease and another of her children is also at risk.

Majella McCloskey, director of Chief Officer 3rd Sector (CO3), was on the Making The Difference judging panel, and she presented Pat with her Best Volunteer award as a gesture of recognition for her amazing achievements.

“It was a really tough job for us picking a winner in each category as everyone nominated is a winner,” she said.

“Pat is a fantastic example of the type of volunteer we are lucky to have in Northern Ireland, that do fantastic work day and night. She helps makes people’s lives better. l couldn’t be prouder of both of them.”

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