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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 March 2005, 15:27 GMT
Award honour for 'living legends'
Reatha Hassan pictured with actor Robert Powell at the ceremony
Reatha Hassan pictured with actor Robert Powell at the ceremony
Two Northern Ireland pensioners have been honoured at a charity dinner in London for "legendary" achievements.

Help the Aged's Living Legends awards highlight both acts of kindness and innovative work to break down age discrimination barriers.

Reatha Hassan, from Markethill, won the Northern Ireland Local Hero award for supporting victims of the Troubles.

Retired teacher Derrick Cartlidge was runner-up for his work helping to train older people in IT skills in Belfast.

The gala dinner at the Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday was attended by celebrities such as Lionel Blair, June Whitfield and Robert Powell as well as the prime minister's wife Cherie Booth.

Reatha Hassan worked for most of her adult life to support people affected by the Troubles, bringing comfort to bereaved families round the clock.

Derrick Cartlidge
Retired teacher Derrick Cartlidge teaches IT skills to pensioners

She has been recently working towards creating a memorial garden for those killed, which will feature commemorative plaques including a lithograph donated by Prince Charles.

Belfast man Derrick Cartlidge was a deputy headmaster of a primary school in the city, and even in retirement, he says he continues to enjoy passing on his knowledge to his peers.

He began teaching computer skills to older people after taking Help the Aged courses in IT and in delivering training.

Mr Cartlidge provides telephone and email support, and even makes home visits.

The pair were joined by other regional winners at the event, as well as television presenter Cilla Black, who picked up a Hall of Fame award for her work with charities and community groups.


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