Co Down Blackface breeders raise money for Smart(NI) and Marie Curie Cancer Care

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Castlewellan Blackface Sheep Breeders and Mourne Sheep Breeders are jointly organizing their annual stock judging event and in lamb ewe sale in Hilltown Saleyard on Friday 3rd March with all monies raised being split between SMART(NI) and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

SMART(NI) is a charity set up in memory of a sports-mad 11-year-old who died in 2015 Stephen McElroy, a popular P7 pupil from Ballyward near Castlewellan, Co Down, died just 24 hours after feeling too unwell to play for his football team.

Eight months on from his death, his family set up a charity in his memory, SMART (NI) - The Stephen McElroy Appreciation and Remembrance Team.

Stephen’s mother Pattie said her son had “such an energy for life and we wanted to remember this energy and celebrate it and that is how SMART (NI) came into being”.

Marie Curie Cancer Care provide care and support for around 2,500 people living with a terminal illness in Northern Ireland each year.

There are more than 160 Marie Curie Nurses working in Northern Ireland, caring for around 3,000 terminally ill people and their families in their homes each year.

Their hospice in Belfast cares for around 500 people each year, including people staying in the hospice and those coming in for the day to use the hospice’s services.

Helper volunteers regularly visit terminally ill people in their home or talk on the phone, offering companionship and emotional support, as well as practical help.

Thanks to the generosity of their supporters, their services are offered free of charge to people with any terminal illness.

Around £3.5 million a year is needed to fund hospices and nursing care in Northern Ireland.

The event will commence at 8pm and judging by last year’s event it should be an entertaining and enjoyable evening with something for everyone to enjoy.

The evening will include a charity auction, a sale of in lamb Blackface ewes and a draw on the night.

Please come along and support these very worthwhile charities.