‘Journal’ reporter Catherine wins prestigious Flame of Hope Award

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Derry Journal reporter Catherine Doran has been awarded a Flame of Hope Award from Cancer Research UK.

The 33-year-old has worked for the ‘Journal’ since 2004, and the award for ‘Media Supporter of the Year’ is a result of a year long cancer awareness campaign.

The campaign included a series of personal stories from cancer survivors, promoting the extremely successful Slide On fundraising event, talking to two local children who were nominated for ‘Little Star’ awards and much more.

Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Northern Ireland, Jean Walsh, said, “The Derry Journal has been a tremendous supporter over the last year and richly deserves this Flame of Hope Award.

“Catherine Doran’s series of articles about the charity’s work and the cancer survivors who support us were sensitive and informative and went a long way to highlight Cancer Research UK’s work to beat cancer sooner.

“And Catherine’s colourful stories about local fundraising events dovetailed with the Derry Journal’s brilliant social media campaign, generating excitement and support for Cancer Research UK among the community.

“Our Flame of Hope Awards give us the opportunity to celebrate and say thank you to our generous volunteers and supporters for the fantastic work they do.”

Local fundraising manager Sharon Arbuckle said, “Catherine Doran’s interview series on Cancer Survivors was an enormous help to Cancer Research UK, it helped the public understand the impact the charity has on a local level.

“It also gave hope and confidence to people facing a cancer diagnosis, letting them know that survival rates have doubled and treatments have improved thanks to research.

“Catherine gave the interviewee’s the opportunity to share their stories and help others in the process.

“I am so thankful for all she has done to help us over the last year and her Flame of Hope Award, which is so richly deserved, shows that she is held in a very high regard by our colleagues nationally.”

Speaking about the award Catherine said, “I am extremely humbled to have been named as ‘Media Supporter of the Year’. The articles in the ‘Journal’ were never about me, but about those living with, and after, a cancer diagnosis.

“It was a real privilege to write about the personal experiences of all those who were brave enough to share their stories with the ‘Journal’ - and trust me to translate their stories to print.

“Of course, the incredibly uplifting ‘Slide On’ event was also a joy to report on. The event was the first of its kind and raised in excess of £100,000 for the charity.

“Cancer Research UK are a fantastic charity, and I was also delighted to be able to see their work first hand in the Cancer Centre for Research and Cell Biology in Belfast, and talk to Professor Patrick Johnson, who was instrumental in setting it up. It’s so encouraging to see the money raised at work.

“Finally, I would like to thank local fundraising manager, Sharon Arbuckle, and Northern Ireland spokesperson, Jean Walsh, for their valuable input and encouragement throughout the series.”

Catherine will travel to London next month to collect her award at a ceremony hosted by Cancer Research UK at the Hotel Russell.