Outstanding Contribution to the Community - John Linehan
Sponsored by Belfast Telegraph and Spar
Comedian John Linehan, aka May McFettridge, has used his/her humour, skill, time and contacts to help raise hundreds of |thousands of pounds for charities across Northern Ireland.
When the Belfast Telegraph and SPAR thought of who deserved the inaugural Making The Difference Outstanding Contribution to the Community award, John Linehan’s name was at the top of the list.
To ensure the cat wasn’t let out of the bag ahead of the glittering awards ceremony at the Grand Opera House in Belfast, we swore everyone to secrecy and asked John to come along and present an award for us.
John praised the Belfast Telegraph and SPAR for coming up with such an innovative event, and said he was stunned when he realised he was receiving an award rather than presenting one.
“I was not expecting that! It’s lovely to receive an award and a great surprise,” he said.
“The family were all sitting in their pyjamas, telling me they would see me in the morning.
“It just goes to show you that a woman can get ready in one-and-a-half hours and it doesn’t need to take all night! It’s a privilege that I am in a position to help people. I’ve always said all you need is enough to keep you going, so if you can do a bit for someone, do it.
“The Making The Difference awards are a great idea. There are so many great people out there that do a lot for people and their community. People don’t think of all the carers. The work that they do goes unnoticed.
“It was lovely of the Belfast Telegraph and SPAR to do this for the people.”
John’s wife Brenda was hidden in the darkness of the Grand Opera House audience to see her husband receive his outstanding contribution award, as were his two daughters Donna and Kerry, and his grandson Johnny.
Brenda said: “It was such a |surprise for him.
“The look on his face when he found out was terrific. He hadn’t got a clue, God love him!
“He didn’t know we would be there. He said to us about coming along to watch the awards, so we all lied to him. Kerry told him she was going out and just before he left the house I even told him to take his keys!
“We are all so proud of him. Not a lot of people know about all the charity work he does.
“He just goes about doing it. He loves it and wouldn’t have it any other way.”