June 12 is shaping up to be a very happy day for Cookstown’s Carol Doey.
Not only is it the first anniversary of her Spirit of NI Award, the community worker has now been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s birthday honours list.
The selfless and truly larger than life Hub founder joins Magherafelt based councillor George Shiels, founder of Emergency Medical Care in Magherafelt Timothy Anderson, Northern Trust worker Philomena Hughes and Community Transport’s joint chair William Mayne on the list of local award recipients.
The fellow awardee she was most excited about however, was Van Morrison’s, as she said she walks to his music every day.
But in true Carol style - instead of reaping the rewards of her hard work at tonight’s Spirit of NI Awards as she was invited to do - she will be giving up her free time for the people of Galbally as a judge for their Strictly Come Dancing production.
And although “excited” and “delighted” to have been honoured in this way, Mrs Doey said she doesn’t think she is deserving of such an honour.
If I was a surgeon and taking your liver out and putting a new one in, I’d love that and think ‘my goodness, I’m doing a really good job’. But I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary I feel - Carol Doey
“I’m embarrassed,” the 56-year-old said. “I really don’t think I deserve it.
“I really thought it was a joke and I didn’t show it to my husband to the next morning. I said to him ‘there’s a letter in there and I think somebody’s trying to make a fool out of me’.
“He read it and he said ‘Carol that’s not a fool, look at the post mark’.
“I think it frightened me a bit,” she went on, “I’m don’t think I deserve what people are saying about me. I think I am doing a very normal job.
“If I was a surgeon and taking your liver out and putting a new one in, I’d love that and think ‘my goodness, I’m doing a really good job’.
“But I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary I feel. I love it and I really am happy, but I won’t believe it ‘til they put it in my hand.”
She did however say she loves the Hub and what she can do for people through the community venue, and as for who nominated her, she said she hasn’t got a clue, but that her husband Tony and daughter Patsi are both “thrilled” for her.