Sharon collects her BEM

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In January local woman, Sharon Neely, received the news that she was on the Queens New Years’ Honours List.

She was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to people with Dementia and their families. Sharon is the lead fundraising volunteer of the Alzheimer’s Society within the Causeway area, a role that brings her great fulfilment.

Sharon dedicated her award to her grandmother, who she cared for and the local volunteers who do all they can to help those with the disease and their families.

Back in May, Sharon travelled to Hillsborough Castle and received her award from Lord Lieutenant of County Londonderry, Mr Dennis Desmond.

She and her family enjoyed the Investiture ceremony in the beautiful grounds of the castle and sharing the day with the other local recipients.

The following week the proud Coleraine woman, travelled to Buckingham Palace to attend a Royal Garden Party.

During the day she had the opportunity to see the Queen, Prince Philip and other members of the Royal family.

Though this is a great honour, Sharon approaches the whole experience very humbly.

Her aim in her charity work is to make a difference to people in the local community.

Today Alzheimers affects 20,000 people living in Northern Ireland, so Sharon’s voluntary work supporting the Alzheimer’s Society, which is the leading charity for Dementia in the UK, is of significant importance both within our local community and region.

The overall aim is to work together to achieve the Society’s mission statement which is “A world without Dementia tomorrow”.