On Monday evening, Belfast City Hall was lit up in the colours of the Motor Neurone Disease Association to dazzling effect.
But there was more going on inside, where the Lord Mayor of Belfast was welcoming people with motor neurone disease (MND), their families and carers to a civic reception.
The event marked Belfast City Council’s continued support for local people with MND and the work of the Association’s Northern Ireland Branch. In December 2014, the City Council had been the first council in Northern Ireland to adopt the MND Charter, which sets out the key priorities for local services to get right.
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My role on the night was mainly to participate, meet people and lend a hand, and of course to congratulate the branch on an event well done. It really felt to me like Belfast was a flagship for the kind of civic relationship a local branch or group can have with their council.
A very nice way to begin putting myself out there with the new job, then. And thanks to everyone in the Branch for a great Northern Ireland welcome. :)