Local Girl Honours Community Hero for World Book Day

As school children across Northern Ireland excitedly put on their fancy dress for World Book Day, one local girl is looking a little closer to home for her inspiring choice of costume. Rachael Foye, from South Belfast will be stepping into the well-worn hiking shoes of Stewart Barbour, known throughout the local community for his friendly demeanour, infectious smile and tireless advocacy and fundraising for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.

Stewart’s list of accomplishments are long, including running 19 marathons, walking the entire length of Ireland, and now a published author. He is unmissable with his backpack, blue hair and Cancer Focus Northern Ireland merchandise as he pounds the streets of Belfast, and that is exactly how Rachael’s mother, Andrea Foye came to know of him, regularly donating and stopping for a chat.



Rachael has become well known among her peers to go above and beyond for her past World Book Day costumes, including Phileas Fog in Around the World in 80 Days, Ursula from the Little Mermaid and the Rainbow Fish, but this year she wanted to mark her last year of primary school with a costume with a special meaning. Her mother Andrea says:





“We’ve always done well known books and characters so this year we’re going to champion a local hero and publicise his book to support local charity, Cancer Focus Northern Ireland who are providing vital services to local people who have been impacted by cancer.”

Andrea continued:

“Everyone at school always looks forward to Rachael’s costumes so I’m positive that by the end of book day a few more people will know who Steward Barbour is, and what he does for Cancer Focus Northern Ireland, and hopefully result in some much-needed donations.”


It comes as no surprise that Stewart Barbour was delighted to hear of Rachael’s efforts, and since then has been a regular on the Ormeau Road, popping in to check in with Rachael and Andrea.


Stewart beamed; “I am absolutely blown away that for World Book Day, Rachael has decided that she wanted to dress up as me. My career has now peaked and has made becoming an author even more of a privilege. I am so honoured, and as always, delighted to continue to promote the great work of Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.”



Rachael is also keeping local children at the heart of her choice of costume, and her love of arts and crafts to fundraise to help Cancer Focus Northern Ireland to provide Art Therapy and Family Support sessions for children impacted by cancer, providing joy and comfort during a difficult time in their lives.


Cancer Focus NI offers therapeutic cancer support to local patients and their families.  If you have any concerns about your health, speak to your GP as soon as possible. Visit for more information on common signs and symptoms of cancer. For information on the charity’s support services visit


Stuart’s book can be is available from and with all proceeds going to Cancer Focus Northern Ireland.