Well, what can we say about our 15th Anniversary Celebrations at the Ramada Hotel on Friday 24 October 2014, except to say it was a fabulous evening attended by almost 300 of our families, friends, clients and staff.
The evening got under way with a drinks reception attended by the Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon, and everyone enjoyed the thrill of meeting and having their photographs taken with our First Citizen.
Our chairman, Tony Doran, extended a very warm welcome to all our guests and provided an overview of the development of Caring Breaks and its 15 years of service to family carers.
Chief Executive Dolores Finnerty hosted the evening ably assisted by Paul Sinnamon who has been a client of Caring Breaks for 11 years. With Paul's assistance, Dolores launched the new website and our very first Caring Breaks video and this was met with great approval and excitement from our family carers and their sons/daughters.
We were delighted to have Health Minister, Jim Wells MLA, as our guest for the evening and he presented our clients with their awards in our Natural World Challenge project. Each of our clients received a medal and certificate for their hard work and dedication in participating and completing many challenges throughout the year.
To showcase one of the workshops incorporated within our Natural World Challenge project, 6 of our clients joined Joe Loughlin and the Gathering Drum and they put on a marvellous ensemble performance on the drums.
We had a lovely meal afterwards followed by a ballot were we had excellent prizes kindly donated by local businesses and friends of Caring Breaks. Our Carer Committee had also organised a tombola which proved extremely popular.
As a surprise had been promised, there was much excitement and anticipation in the room when the doors opened to the Caring Breaks "Happy Crew", who gave an outstanding dance performance to the Pharrell Williams song "Happy". This brought everyone to their feet and a virtual stampede on to the dance floor which remained until way past midnight!
A great night was had by all - sore feet included!!!!!!! but well worth every minute. Caring Breaks was buzzing with excitement and still is!
Congratulations to all and a huge thank you to all our families, friends and staff who supported us and made this night such a success. Here's to the next one!!!