Grateful Andrew’s gift to ambulance service

Aaron McCracken, left, polishes off his Christmas dinner while Brian McCafferty prepares to tuck in to his.
Aaron McCracken, left, polishes off his Christmas dinner while Brian McCafferty prepares to tuck in to his.
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The spirit of goodwill was alive and well for staff at Craigavon’s Ambulance Service who were treated to Christmas Day dinner courtesy of a Portadown restaurant.

Sixteen crew members enjoyed turkey dinner with all the trimmings despite being on call.

The generous gesture was made by Andrew Forker who has recently taken over Stonebridge Brasserie and also runs Scrumee At The Park in Portadown Rugby Club.

Andrew was knocked off his motorbike in Portadown town centre in June and taken to hospital by ambulance.

Fortunately, his injuries were minor and he was out of hospital within a few days.

However, the crew’s professionalism and dedication left a lasting impression and Andrew thought he would like to show his gratitude.

The father-of-three, said, “My manager at Stonebridge, Tracey Whiteside, and I were discussing people who have to work over Christmas.

“I know some of the ambulance staff and I’m sure it’s a thankless job most of the time. You don’t think about these people and the job they do until you need them.

“I contacted them about the dinner, fully expecting them to say someone else had already offered, and I was surprised when they told me they had never been asked before.

“We were doing a carvery at Stonebridge on Christmas Day anyway so what’s a few more dinners?”

Tina Brennan, from Craigavon, an emergency medical technician, described Andrew’s gesture as “amazing”.

She said, “For someone to think of us in this way is incredible.

There have been people working here for 20 years and no one ever offered to feed us on Christmas Day before.

”Family members would normally bring some dinner up or the crew just bring something in with them.

“The dinners went down so well - everybody loved them.”

Andrew, meanwhile, who lives in Lurgan, was looking forward to putting his feet up at home on Boxing Day.