Congratulations to our very own Baroness May Blood on winning the Community Relations Council Good Relations Award 2021. The IEF is delighted that she has won given her commitment to Integrated Education for over 20 years.
May Blood worked in linen mills in Belfast for more than 30 years and in 1996 she was awarded an MBE for her work in labour relations. Baroness May Blood of Blackwatertown MBE was the first female life peer to be appointed from Northern Ireland. She was elevated to the House of Lords in 1999 for her community work and her role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
In 2000 May joined the IEF Northern Ireland Team as a volunteer fundraiser and in 2002 became Chair of the Fund’s Campaign Council.
In 2006 May was voted BBC Northern Ireland ‘Woman of the Year’ by listeners of Radio Ulster. She holds Honorary Doctorates from Ulster University, the Open University and Queen’s University Belfast.
In 2018 May’s tireless campaigning for integrated education was celebrated at a reception in London where supporter Liam Neeson told May that she is one of his heroes. The film star sent a surprise video message when he couldn’t join other guests at an event to honour the baroness as she retired from the House of Lords. In the video, Liam Neeson says “I want to thank you for introducing me to the integrated education system. I’m indebted to you. You have been, and still are, a hero of mine.”
We are greatly indebted to May for all of her hard work and campaigning for integrated education and are thrilled that her dedication has been recognised in this way.
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