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Sailability stalwart makes honours list

Geraldine Duggan,former Vice Chairperson of Belfast Lough Sailability received the BEM in the New Years Honours List for services to sailing and people with disabilities in NI. INCT 02-014-PSB

Geraldine Duggan,former Vice Chairperson of Belfast Lough Sailability received the BEM in the New Years Honours List for services to sailing and people with disabilities in NI. INCT 02-014-PSB

A Carrick woman is to receive a British Empire medal (BEM) in recognition of her services to sailing and people with disabilities.

Geraldine Duggan was one of three residents from the borough named in the New Year Honours list for her contribution to local charity Belfast Lough Sailability.

Currently chair of fundraising, the Greenisland resident has been involved with BLS since its foundation in 2001.

Speaking to the Carrick Times, Geraldine said: “I got a letter back in November from the House of Commons to say I had been nominated; it was just phenomenal, really unexpected, but I am delighted.

“BLS is volunteer-based so it’s great to get that recognition for the charity and the people who put so much work into it. At the moment I look after fundraising but I’m just one of many people who have been there from the very start.”

A former employee of Carrickfergus Council, Geraldine’s maritime background began with membership of Carrickfergus Sailing Club.

“BLS has always had great support from the local community and further afield,” she added. “A couple of years ago we were awarded with funding through the People’s Millions and that allowed us to purchase the Sea Rover, which has been a fantastic addition to our little fleet. We have over 80 volunteers and last year alone we got over 40,000 people out on the water.”

Congratulating Geraldine on her nomination, a spokesperson for BLS said: “[She] is a strong, passionate voice in the area of sailing for people with disabilities, along with the desire that all should be able to participate in the sport so close to her heart.”

 
 
 

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