|New Life Counselling Fundraiser Paula Delaney Wins Spirit of NI Award|
|Friday, 22 June 2012 14:38|
The outstanding effort of New Life Counselling fundraiser Paula Delaney has been recognised at a gala awards ceremony at the Culloden Estate hotel, with the South Belfast mum being named the overall winner of the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland award. The win follows Paula fundraising in excess of £30,000, primarily for New Life Counselling - the charity that helped her and her family come to terms with losing her youngest son, Emmie.
The Spirit of Northern Ireland Awards celebrate unsung heroes for their bravery, heart-warming good deeds and selflessness. Alongside four other finalists, Paula Delaney was nominated for her exceptional courage and commitment to raising money for New Life Counselling by taking part in the Belfast City Marathon in May this year, in memory of her sports-mad little boy Emmie, 5, who passed away six months ago.
Paula’s dedication inspired 300 friends, family members and well-wishers to run with her, and the total money raised exceeded £30,000, with most going to New Life Counselling and a proportion for the NI Children’s Hospice. Paula, her son Pearse and her mum Pauline have been talking to Jane, a counsellor with New Life Counselling, in recent months to try to come to terms with their tragic loss of little Emmie, and the family feel their sessions with Jane have been a huge help in coping with their loss.
Receiving the award, Paula said: “I’m honoured to have won the overall Spirit of Northern Ireland award. The amount of money raised is absolutely amazing and I’m so touched that everyone has been so very generous. Jane and the rest of New Life Counselling have helped our family through some of our darkest days; the support they’ve given us has been fantastic and I wanted to give something back to them so they can continue helping others. Nothing I do will ever bring my darling Emmie back, but if we can leave a legacy of support for the New Life Counselling team then it won’t all be negative and Mum, Pearse and I can take a positive uplift from this.”
Chief Executive of New Life Counselling Karen Collins paid tribute to the outstanding efforts of Paula and her family: “Winning the Spirit of NI Award just proves how exceptional Paula is. Paula’s fundraising efforts during the Belfast Marathon were outstanding, particularly given the very difficult circumstances she and her family are coming to terms with. The money raised for New Life Counselling in memory of little Emmie will make a huge difference and go a long way in helping us to deliver much needed counselling services free of charge to those who need them. We’re so proud to have helped the Delaney family, and we’re delighted that Paula got the recognition she deserves in winning the Spirit of NI Award; she’s a truly inspirational lady.”
This well deserved accolade follows the Belfast City Marathon Committee’s decision last month to recognise Paula with a Special Merit Award.