Lochside Garage
Patricia Donald

Royal reward for champion of older folk

PATRICIA Donald a leading campaigner for services for older people here has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours.
Patricia, chairman of the South West Ageing Partnership, has campaigned vigorously on issues such as health, income and transport for older people.
The Enniskillen woman said she was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the honour.
Eighty year old Patricia stressed though, that she didn’t view the award as a personal one, but one for the Senior Citizen’s Consortium and the SWAP.
“In particular I would like to mention Paddy Joe McClean from Beragh, who originally pushed to have the Senior Citizen’s Consortium as have the board of directors who have carried on that hard work into today,” she said. “Paddy Joe started it all off and I inherited it, and it’s going from strength to strength.
“The award is great acknowledgement that we have served the older generation in Fermanagh and Tyrone well over the years. Things are changing here for older people. Before there used to be old people’s clubs, but now we’re thinking more about activities and trying to keep people more active and fit.”
She went on to stress that loneliness was also becoming a big factor in the ageing process.
“It frightening when you realise how many old people go through loneliness, their families grown up and moved away and they are left on their own,” she said. “They have nobody around, so these groups are vital.”
She added that during Christmas the group receive great support from younger generations willing to help distribute dinners on Christmas Day.
“It was wonderful to see them getting involved, but things like this need to be done throughout the year also,” she said.
“Really though, I’m honoured to receive this award on behalf of the older people in Fermanagh. Now I can look forward to a day out at Buckingham Palace and of course I’ll have to buy a new outfit.”
Detective Inspector Billy Cross was awarded a Queen’s Police Medal for his services to the Police Service in Northern Ireland.

Rich rewards for locals in annual honours list


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