Charity award for Whitehead fundraiser Noel

Samantha Robinson (MindWise), Noel McKee, Philip Scott, and Valerie Saunders (CHS).  INCT 12-726-CON
Samantha Robinson (MindWise), Noel McKee, Philip Scott, and Valerie Saunders (CHS). INCT 12-726-CON

Whitehead man Noel McKee who has been honoured by the Queen for his charity work received another award last week.

Noel and his former colleagues at the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service raised the sum of £13,000 for Chest Heart and Stroke and the Mindwise charities.

He was presented with his latest award for his longterm fundraising endeavours by Chest Heart and Stroke.

In April, Noel McKee picked up the ‘999 Hero’ accolade at the Sunday Life Spirit of Northern Ireland awards last week for his outstanding contribution to the community.

A crew member with NIFRS for 32 years, Noel also spearheaded a number of charity initiatives in recent years - the most recent being Healthy Body, Healthy Mind in conjunction with MindWise and NI Chest, Heart and Stroke.

He has raised over £1million for charities including NI Cancer Fund for Children, Chest Heart & Stroke, MindWise, Hope House and the Firefighters’ Charity.

The campaign with Mindwise and Chest Heart and Stroke saw Noel and his team bring the message of keeping fit in mind and body to more than 5,000 post-primary schoolchildren.

He said that part of his work with the fire service was helping to save lives.

“We wanted to make people more aware of their physical and mental health and how that can change, especially the younger generation.”

Now that he has stepped down from the fire service, he says that he will be “completely committed” to his counselling and community work.

Preparations are underway to host another community Christmas dinner in Whitehead.

He commented: “It is always nice to get an award but the reward for me is knowing that if a life has been saved, it has been worthwhile.

“The reward is to be told by a 15-year-old that he has taken up running and that has saved his life. The reward is knowing that you have made a small difference.”