Geraldine Corrigan can often be found on the main street of towns and villages across Fermanagh holding a yellow bucket collecting for Friends of the Cancer Centre.

The Enniskillen resident has served as Chairperson of the Fermanagh fundraising group for the charity for ten years, and was surprised to hear that she had been shortlisted as a Charity Champion for the Impartial Reporter Community Champion awards, in association with Encirc.

Impartial Reporter: Geraldine Corrigan

She said: “It is lovely for the charity, and I am pleased for the charity to be recognised.

“I am absolutely delighted! I have chaired the group for ten years, and any one of the people that are volunteers could have been shortlisted for this, or be more entitled [than me] to be in the paper."

She modestly continued: "They’ve been doing the work; I just have the privilege of leading a great team.

“There’s at least 20 people who have been there from day one.”

The group hosts various events throughout the year and had to find novel and new ways to raise money for the charity, explained Mrs. Corrigan.

“When we started the new group, we looked at other ways to raise funds. We have had people do skydives and abseils, and there is a new generation coming on who are getting involved in the charity.

"I think it is really good for young people to give something back to the community.

“A lot of the money goes to clinical nurses that are funded by the charity at the cancer centre in Belfast; a lot of the money will go into research or home comforts and paying for travel and expenses."

Friends of the Cancer Centre is one of the longest-running charities in Northern Ireland and Mrs. Corrigan began fundraising for the group after she lost family members to cancer.

Looking back at how she started, she said: "I became involved 17 years ago when Jim Gamble asked me to do a street collection."

She highly praised the work undertaken by various charities who support people with cancer, and added: “Everyone is doing the same job, and trying to help people who have a cancer diagnosis.

“Unfortunately, cancer is right across the board, and it is good to encourage people to give back to charity. There is such good in the local area.”


Others nominated in the Charity Champion category include Clare Donohoe, Pulmonary Fibrosis NI; Enniskillen Ladies Circle; Martin Ansfield (posthumously), Pulmonary Fibrosis NI; Mary McCann, Fermanagh Women's Aid; and Susan Doyle, Fermanagh Down Syndrome Support Group.

The winner of this category and all of the other categories will be revealed at the awards ceremony at the Lough Erne Resort on June 27.