A veteran activist for the integration movement in Northern Ireland said she initially dismissed the campaign as she believed it was aimed at middle class people – “those who could afford to choose” when it came to education.
But in 1999 May Blood, who was born and raised in Belfast and who once worked in a linen mill, presented the prizes at Hazelwood Integrated College and found she had to re-evaluate her initial opinion.
“I discovered there were kids from Sandy Row, kids from the Shankill, kids from the Falls. I couldn’t believe it.”
Ms Blood, who in 1999 was offered a life peerage and a seat in the House of Lords, was invited to join the Northern Ireland Integrated Education Fund and went on to become a champion for the sector.