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. In 1999 she became the first Northern Ireland woman to be given a life peerage. In 2006 Baroness Blood 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 2000 May joined the IEF Northern Ireland Team as a volunteer fundraiser and in 2002 became Chair of the Fund’s Campaign Council. Since then Baroness Blood has attended many IEF functions, school openings etc; here are pictures of some of them.
The Integrated Education Fund has attracted support from many key figures from the worlds of business, the arts and entertainment, sport and politics. We have welcomed celebrities to our fundraising events and accompanied our high-profile supporters to schools around Northern Ireland. We are very grateful for the public endorsement these famous friends of the IEF give to integrated education and to our work in Northern Ireland. We have built up quite a catalogue of famous faces; here are some of them.
A glorious spring afternoon’s racing was just one highlight of the Integrated Education Fund’s celebration at Down Royal Racecourse on St Patrick’s Day. Around a hundred high-profile guests were welcomed by Baroness Blood, the IEF’s Campaign Chair. The guests were entertained by Tim McGarry and the young dancers before enjoying a delicious lunch and an exciting afternoon’s racing. This special event raised funds for our work developing and supporting integrated schools. Here are some of the pictures.
“Stand Up for Integrated Education” brought top names together on stage as mentalist David Meade was joined by comedians Tim McGarry, Neil Dougan, Colin Murphy and Wendy Wason, generously giving their time in support of the IEF. Here are some of the pictures.
Janice Marshall, principal of Drumlins Integrated Primary School, has told an audience of distinguished guests at the House of Lords that the success of her school owes much to determined campaigners and loyal supporters. The primary school in Ballynahinch has grown from small beginnings to become the most over-subscribed primary school in the area.
Janice Marshall was speaking at a gathering of around 100 Integrated Education Fund donors and advocates at special dinner at Westminster hosted by the IEF campaign chair, Baroness May Blood. The dinner was generously supported by the family of the late Frank Carson. Here are some of the pictures.
Top media executive David Montgomery and his wife Sophie, alongside actor Adrian Dunbar, hosted a Summer Drinks reception for the Integrated Education Fund in Kensington, London last night to highlight the relevance of integrated education in Northern Ireland.
Attended by over 60 guests including high profile business people, personalities, politicians and former Integrated AlumNI, the event also celebrated the IEF’s 25th anniversary.
Local actor Stephen Hagan and his wife, comedienne Wendy Wason, as well as Stiff Little Finger’s Ali McMordie, broadcaster Maxine Mawhinney, BAFTA’s Deputy Chair, Anne Morrison and Campaign Chair Baroness Blood were among those in attendance united by a motivation to ‘put something back into the society they grew up in’ said Adrian Dunbar who is presently starring in BBC drama Broken. Here are some of the pictures.
The Integrated Education Fund gathered friends and supporters together at the Europa Hotel in Belfast on 07 October to celebrate 25 years of supporting integrated education in Northern Ireland. Past and present pupils joined high-profile guests at a gala evening hosted by news broadcaster and friend of the IEF, Maxine Mawhinney.
The evening opened with a delightful musical greeting as the Hazelwood Integrated College choir sang in the foyer. The glamorous celebration saw “The Voice” star and past pupil of Malone Integrated College, David Jackson, perform alongside his former classmate Fiona O’Kane. Guests also enjoyed comedy from Tim McGarry and a set from jazz singer Victoria Geelan– who was one of the first pupils at Omagh Integrated Primary School – and her band. Here are some of the pictures.
The IEF was delighted that our supporters Tony Carson and actors Dan Gordon and Adrian Dunbar joined the Fund recently to celebrate the creative talents found in integrated schools around Northern Ireland.
Students, staff and supporters of integrated education gathered at New-Bridge Integrated College on Thursday 19 October for the annual Carson Awards showcase, which honours young people who are winners in the scheme established by Tony and named in tribute to his father, the legendary Belfast comedian Frank Carson.
The awards are an exciting opportunity for young people to express themselves through the arts, under the theme ‘What Integrated Education Means to Me’. Prizes were presented for art projects of all types, and work completed by senior students under the Carson Bursary scheme was on display. Here are some of the pictures.
More than 100 high profile friends of the Integrated Education Fund (IEF) celebrated in sunshine and style on May Day at Down Royal Racecourse. The guests were welcomed by Baroness May Blood, IEF Campaign Chair, and entertained by comedian and long standing supporter Tim McGarry.
The guests in the exclusive Moscow Flyer Suite enjoyed a champagne reception, followed by a guided tour of the days “runner and riders” by top tipster Pamela Ballantine, before a delicious four course lunch and an exciting afternoon’s racing.
Commenting on the good cause behind the celebrations, Baroness May Blood said
“Integrated education left the starting gate more than thirty years ago and is seen as a good bet for our children’s future by a majority of parents in Northern Ireland. We have to keep nagging politicians and reminding them that a pledge to develop a unified education system of good-quality schools, which welcome and nurture young people of all backgrounds and traditions, would be a winner with the public in Northern Ireland.” Here are some of the pictures.
A Belfast principal has told an audience at the House of Lords that the success of his primary school proves the value of integration and the demand for places in integrated education. Cliftonville Integrated Primary School became officially integrated in 2008 and the decade since then has seen it become one of the fastest-growing primary schools in Northern Ireland.
Head teacher Bill Fletcher was invited to address a gathering of around a hundred Integrated Education Fund supporters at a dinner at Westminster last Monday (05 November). The audience included business leaders, entertainers, writers and campaigners for integrated education as well as peers and past pupils of integrated schools. Here are some of the pictures.
Friends of the Integrated Education Fund gathered at Down Royal Racecourse on May 06 to enjoy lunch, entertainment, good company and the odd flutter on the horses – and to raise money for the Fund’s work supporting integrated schools around NI.
Guests arrived in the spring sunshine and were welcomed to the Moscow Flyer Suite by IEF Campaign Chair Baroness May Blood, who outlined the Fund’s progress and future plans highlighting the Integrate My School programme which informs parents how to initiate the change to integrated status for their child’s school. She said
“The IEF has backed integrated education for over 25 years and there is more to come. Parents are recognising that they can set out a better future for the next generation and demand is growing consistently.