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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

MEA Council to support Carrickfergus girls’ gala ball in aid of NI Children’s Hospice

A Carrickfergus schoolgirl is organising a gala ball in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Fourteen-year-old Madison Wright, a pupil at Carrickfergus Academy, is seeking the support of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

The fundraiser will be held at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast on October 29. The council is being asked to “purchase a table” at the event at a cost of £1,000.

Sponsorship packages ranging from £2,000 to £6,000 are also available.

Speaking at a meeting of the borough council recently, Knockagh DUP Councillor Marc Collins said:

“I am more than happy to propose we support the event.

“The Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice is more than deserving of any support council can given them. If it is possible within current budgets, I propose that we also sponsor the event. If not, I am more than happy to stick with the recommendation.”

His proposal was seconded by party colleague Braid Cllr William McCaughey.

The amount was left to be considered by the acting chief executive.

Madison was appointed the first Youth Ambassador for the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice in June 2020.

At the time, Madison had raised more than £15,000 for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice since she began fundraising in 2018; organising coffee mornings, head-shaves, and non-uniform days in school and other activities.

Grace Stewart, head of Children’s Hospice, explained:

“Madison is an inspiration to us all at Hospice; she became part of our family through her friendship with Gracie and Noah Coates. Gracie and Noah have stayed with us at Horizon House over the years, however Noah, sadly died of a rare neurological condition.

“Madison has a real insight into the care services of Children’s Hospice and how we help the families we work with. Her compassion and drive to help others has meant that she has already made a big difference for Children’s Hospice. We’re delighted that she has agreed to be our Youth Ambassador.”

She is organising the gala dinner in October to mark the 21st anniversary of the Children’s Hospice. The date has been chosen as it would have been the weekend of the 16th birthday of her friend Noah, also from Carrickfergus, who passed away in July 2019.

Noah suffered from vanishing white matter disease, a form of leukodystrophy, with which he was diagnosed at just 23 years of age. The condition is thought to affect only 250 people worldwide.


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