Co Tyrone model with Down's syndrome 'amazed' at award from Queen
A Co Tyrone woman who became the first model with Down's syndrome to take part in Belfast Fashion Week has said was "amazed" to receive an award from the Queen.
Kate Grant (21) was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Cookstown in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Earlier this year, she made headlines when it was announced that she had been selected as a brand ambassador for cosmetic giant Benefit.
Since then she has taken part in a photoshoot for high street retailer River Island and handed out medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday News programme, Ms Grant said she was "so, so excited" when she found out about the medal and believes she was recognised for raising awareness of people with special needs.
"It's amazing. My parents and myself are so proud of me. I want to continue to raise awareness through my modelling," she said.
"I'm so happy and honoured to have this award."
Kate Grant's mother Deirdre said that she and her husband were "bursting with pride" for their daughter.
"Whether you have Down's syndrome or not, if you have a belief and if you work hard, have determination and have a dream, things are achievable in life," she said.
"So that's just Kate's motto - she worked hard, she was very determined, she believed in herself, she knew where she wanted to go.
"And with that, she knew that she was representing the population with special needs and disabilities, and that drove her forward and made her stronger."
Belfast Telegraph Digital