A Northern Ireland nurse has been recognised for her dedication to a leading cancer charity. Ruth Boyd was chosen as the winner of Cancer Research UK's (CRUK) Flame of Hope Research Engagement Award after showing exceptional commitment to raising awareness of the charity's pioneering work.
Ms Boyd, a CRUK senior research nurse based at Belfast City Hospital, was singled out as an outstanding ambassador and inspirational spokeswoman.
Her colleagues and the patients she supports through their difficult cancer journey were delighted to learn that she has been recognised for her work.
Professor David Waugh, director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology (CCRCB) in Belfast, said: "Her compassion for patients and her dedication to ensuring the patient voice is always heard and represented when we set our research agenda, is true testimony to her dedication and leadership.
"It is fitting that Ruth's dedication and commitment to raising the profile of cancer research is recognised at a national level."
Jean Walsh, CRUK spokeswoman, explained that Ms Boyd won the award because of the time, energy and enthusiasm she puts into attending public events within the Belfast CRUK Centre and out in the community to raise the profile of the Belfast CRUK Centre.
She said: "She is a familiar and friendly face amongst CRUK supporters and can always be relied on to give inspiring talks about the research taking place here in Belfast and at the cancer units across the region. The award recognises the amazing work she has done in setting up the NI Cancer Research Consumer Forum – a panel of people affected by cancer who help shape research taking place in Northern Ireland.
"Ruth has set up a fabulous training programme for forum members to ensure they are able to successfully champion the voice of cancer patients in the development of research proposals and trial protocols."
She is a familiar face to patients and their families.
One said: "I first met Ruth at a Race for Life event in 2007. When she heard I was attending the breast clinic at the City she gave me her number and arranged to meet me for coffee after my appointment. Since our first meeting we have now gone beyond a professional relationship and have become friends. She is someone I am very proud to call a friend."