Cathy Anderson Community Hero

Cathy Anderson is our first and very deserving recipient of the title Community Hero.  She works tirelessly in the community for a number of different groups.  Originally from Bailieborough, Co. Cavan Cathy went to London to train as a nurse where she met her husband of 54 years, Peter, in the infamous Galteemore Ballroom. The couple spent 18 years in London where they raised their five children, Paul, Veronica, Bernadette, Peter and John. The family eventually moved back to Magherapaste, Stranorlar in 1975 where Cathy continued her nursing career as a ward sister in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Stranorlar where she remained until her retirement 29 years later.

Some of the awards presented to Cathy and in the background her wedding and 50th anniversary photograph

Some of the awards presented to Cathy and in the background her wedding and 50th anniversary photograph

Although a nurse Cathy always took on extra roles in St. Joseph’s and was treasurer of the Patient’s Comfort Fund during this time. She was very involved in activities for patients and was one of the key drivers behind the St. Joseph’s open day, bazaars and family day’s with entertainment from some of Ireland’s top entertainers. The sky was never the limit where Cathy was concerned.

Upon retiring in 2004 Cathy grabbed the opportunity to get even more involved in her local community and completed and ECDL course which led to her taking on a role in the editorial team for the Donegal Women’s Network where she contributed to the Women’s News, Women’s Views section which was published in the local papers.

Not content with just the editorial team Cathy became a founder member of the local Kurling Club which continued for six years taking part in numerous competitions.

Soon after Cathy became a founder member of the very successful Friday Club for seniors which still runs to this day and will celebrate its tenth anniversary this October. Currently this club caters for 35 people upwards every Friday in Stranorlar Parish Centre. Being no stranger to organising events Cathy alongside other volunteers in the Friday Club organise outings, shopping days away as well as two short holidays where all the members can avail of at holiday at a group rate. The Friday Club has also been instrumental in resurrecting the Kurling activities in the area and to this end has started the New Age Kurling Club which now runs through the Friday Club. The Kurling club have been very successful in the East Donegal League having been outright winners in 2014 and placed second this year. The Friday club has also been involved with cross border activities since its formation and has taken part in events with the YMCA in Derry, Derg Valley Care organisation, Castlederg and the Presbyterian Friendship Group as well as numerous other groups over the years.

Cathy pictured with some of the Pen to Paper Group members and author Patrick Kearney

Cathy pictured with some of the Pen to Paper Group members and author Patrick Kearney

Five years ago Cathy also took to writing and along with a few friends formed the “Pen to Paper” writing club based in Donegal Town. The group has worked with foreign nationals and other people who are interested in developing their creative writing skills and has taken part in workshops with well know author Patrick Kearney. Cathy was the recipient of the a prize for her poem “The Eternal Fad Diet” as part of the Frances Browne Multilingual Poetry Competition in 2013 and was also shortlisted for the Des O’Grady Poetry Competition in Limerick with her poem entitled “Stepping Stones”

How Cathy finds time to support so many various community groups is amazing as she also takes part in her local St. Mary’s Church groups such as the adoration and parish social group.

It’s no surprise that Cathy was presented with and award for her contribution in community work by the Volunteer Centre Donegal in 2012. In her limited spare time Cathy loves to cycle, garden, walk and dance as well as dream up other things that she might like to do.

When asked what’s next for Cathy she replied “just keep on going and anything I see, I’ll try it”

No sign of stopping there! Best wishes to Cathy in her current and future endeavours. This community is very lucky to have you.

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