Ballymoney woman Jackie Brogan picked up the top prize in her category at British Heart Foundation Northern Ireland’s (BHF NI) Heart Hero Awards.
Jackie, a colleague in the Tesco store in Ballymoney, won the Inspiration category in the charity’s annual awards ceremony which recognise and celebrate the exceptional contribution of individuals and groups who are fighting for every heartbeat in Northern Ireland, such as heart patients who are campaigning for better services, fundraisers, partners, scientists and health professionals.
She is a record-setting fundraiser for BHF’s charity partnership with Diabetes UK and Tesco.
Jackie’s charity discos, craft fairs and in-store fancy dresses have made Ballymoney the second highest fundraising store across Northern Ireland and sixth in the UK.
Jackie was presented with her award by BHF Chief Executive Simon Gillespie at a special ceremony in Belfast City Hall in front of more than 200 people.
Simon Gillespie said: “Our annual Heart Hero Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional contribution that our supporters make to our fight against heart disease. And we’re delighted to recognise Jackie for her record-breaking fundraising that is helping the thousands of people in Northern Ireland living with heart disease and diabetes through our charity partnership with Tesco.
“It was a privilege to congratulate Jackie and thank her and all of our supporters who are helping to fight for every heartbeat in Northern Ireland.”
The event was addressed by former First Minister Peter Robinson who spoke about his heart attack last year and Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan who had quadruple bypass surgery in July 2015. The two political figures talked about living with heart disease and the support and encouragement they’ve had from Northern Ireland’s dedicated cardiac care nurses and doctors. The Awards have five categories: Inspiration Award; Young Hero Award; Innovation Award; Influencing Award and Fighting Spirit Award.