Waterside woman, Maureen Neely said she was “thrilled and honoured” to receive the British Empire Medal in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
“Two letters dropped into my hall at 9.15 a.m. on Saturday morning”, said Maureen, “and my husband Alan actually stepped on the envelopes as he was coming into the house”.
“One letter was from Stormont and the other from Buckingham Palace” added Maureen, “ so you can only imagine the excitement on opening both of them to find out about my award”.
Maureen’s career commenced in the X-Ray Department, Altnagelvin Hospita in 1972 and a long and illustrious career has seen her employed in various departments throughout the hospital.
Her current role is that of Business Support Officer.
A keen member of the Altnagelvin Hospital Choir, Maureen is also Chair of Friends of Spruce, a charity which fundraises to provide extra resources for patients in the Young Chronic Sick Ward which is situated within Altnagelvin Hospital.
“Obviously I am absolutely delighted to receive this fantastic honour but I am very mindful of the fact that so many people within the Health Service do wonderful work which often goes unrecognized. I sincerely hope that my acceptance of this award will be a testament to the many wonderful colleagues I have worked with over my forty year career, who equally deserve to be praised”.
Chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust Gerard Guckian congratulated Maureen - a business support officer in the Western Trust’s Emergency Care and Medicine Division based at Altnagelvin Hospital, saying: “Maureen is a shining example of someone who is totally dedicated and passionate about their work. I was delighted to learn about her being included on the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. I extend my warmest congratulations to her and my heartfelt thanks for her commitment to voluntary work with Friends of Spruce House, and indeed also the Altnagelvin Choir, for over twenty years.”
Speaking following the announcement Maureen said: “I am honoured and surprised to receive the BEM and I am very pleased to have recognition for my work in Friends of Spruce House as secretary and latterly chairperson.”
“I would like to thank my colleagues in the Western Trust and the committee members of Friends of Spruce House for their fantastic support and guidance over the past 20 years.”