This year the Northern Ireland Carer of The Year award is presented in association with Action MS.
The winner, Mrs Lynda Coulter from Templepatrick is set to travel abroad for the first time after being named Falcon Holidays Carer of The Year and winning a holiday worth £2,000.
Lynda was nominated for the award by a local healthcare professional. She explained how she cared for her husband John, who developed multiple sclerosis many years ago.
Lynda also looks after her younger sister Karen who has special needs and epilepsy and who came to live with Lynda and John fifteen years ago after the death of her mother.
After receiving the award Lynda said: “I never thought I’d win something like this. I don’t think of myself as a carer. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything special, I just did my best and got on with it. I love my husband and my sister and I get to spend time with them every day.
“John deserves a holiday as much as I do as MS is a very frustrating disease and his attitude towards it is great. We like the idea of going to Italy but are spoiled for choice at the minute.”
Falcon Holidays Brendan Mallon presented Lynda with her Tyrone Crystal trophy and explained why she had won.
He said: “The nomination letter was very moving and heartfelt and after meeting her I am certain she deserves the award. Her whole life involves taking care of others and the support and dedication she shows to those she loves is worthy of recognition.”
Action MS Executive Director, Jayne Smyth is glad that the award focuses on the lives of those living with MS. She said: “We at Action MS are delighted that Falcon Holidays asked us to be involved this year. It’s a wonderful way to highlight and reward the amazing work of regular people who have been placed in difficult situations and who have not only adapted to the initial shock and massive change to their way of life but have taken control and demonstrated great strength of character and unconditional love for their family.
“Although she never expected any award for her outstanding work Mrs Coulter is a very deserving recipient of the Carer of the Year title and award.”
As well as presenting a £2000 holiday to the winner, Falcon Holidays also donated £1,000 to Action MS which will be raffled and proceeds given to assist the work of the charity.