Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - January 5

DISTRICT-WIDE

Hike up Kilmanjaro

In 2011 discover Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest free-standing mountain by trekking on behalf of children’s charity, Children Today.

Participants will be taking the challenge to raise funds for a very worthy cause. Children Today believe that the provision of specialised equipment for children and young people with disabilities has a direct and immediate impact on their quality of life and independence and is vital in helping them to overcome obstacles to live a life of greater independence.

Ceri Ward of Children Today said: “This trek will challenge you both mentally and physically but at the same time is highly accessible to people with no climbing experience. The sense of achievement you will feel as you conquer Kilimanjaro and knowing the monies you raised will benefit disabled children in the UK will be incomparable.”

This feat of human endurance is open to anyone who is aged 18 or over on the day of travel. For those of you with a sense of adventure and the desire to do something challenging for a great cause simply call Ceri Ward at the office |on 01244 335 622 or email ceri@childrentoday.org.uk and we will send you a full information pack. |

WWII veterans urged to apply for funding

Veterans from the Belfast area still have the chance to apply for funding to make special pilgrimages to WWII battlefronts after the programme was extended by the Big Lottery Fund.

The ‘Heroes Return 2’ programme ensures World War Two veterans can make their personal commemorative journeys to the places they saw action.

The extra funding for the scheme will help make sure Belfast veterans still to apply are able to travel in the year ahead to revisit the scenes of WWII events, such as the forthcoming 70th anniversary of the Battle of Crete.

Joanne McDowell, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI director, said: “The popularity of Heroes Return is reflected in the many emotional letters we have received from veterans and their families. It is clear how valuable these journeys are in helping veterans come to terms with traumatic events and experiences and to remember those lost almost 70 years ago.”

Brian Maguire, Northern Ireland manager of the Royal British Legion, said: “The Heroes Return 2 programme gives World War Two veterans the opportunity to go back and pay tribute to those comrades who did not return. I would encourage our veterans who have not yet applied to the programme to do so.”

War widows and widowers of veterans are also eligible, and carers and spouses can also receive funding to travel with veterans. For more information on how to apply call 0845 00 00 121 or visiting www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/heroesreturn

NORTH BELFAST

Hike your way to health

You are invited to take part in the Belfast Hill’s Partnership New Year’s walk of Divis and Black mountain this Saturday, January 8. Kicking off at 10am and finishing at 1pm. Begin 2011 as you mean to go on — shed the season’s excesses and feel good again.

Adults £2, children £1 and ‘Friends of the Belfast Hills’ go free. The walk’s starting point is at Divis car park, 12 Divis Road. To register your interest contact Belfast Hills Partnership on 9060 3466 or email info@belfasthills.org.|

NEWTOWNABBEY

First aid course

Newtownabbey Borough Council is hosting a Community Capacity Programme — Emergency First Aid For Appointed Persons from 6pm-9pm on January 18 and 25 at Mossley Mill. It’s free to take. Upon completion of the course you can be the appointed person for your group/organisation to take charge of the first aid arrangements, including looking after the equipment and facilities, and calling the emergency services when required. For information contact Lois: 9034 0208.

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty is on at the Courtyard Theatre, Doagh Road, Newtownabbey, from Friday, January 14 until Saturday, January 22. The Dove Drama group once again bring you lots of music and laughter when they present their annual pantomime. Prices: £8 & £5 concession. Tickets available at the door.

NORTH DOWN

Event to inspire group trip organisers

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is calling all group trip organisers to attend a ‘Days Out Fair’ on Saturday, January 29, designed to showcase the best that Northern Ireland has to offer with great ideas for day trips and group visits.

The event at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum will cater for group organisers from all walks of life from church groups to sports and social clubs, community groups to retirement associations, from gardening groups to Rotary clubs and many more; with each group that registers being offered two free tickets to attend. Free transport will also be provided on a first come, first served basis by local members of the Federation of Passenger Transport NI.

Elaine Groves, NITB Product Marketing Officer, says this unique event offers a great opportunity for those in charge of group travel to be inspired.

She said: “We want to showcase the best that Northern Ireland has to offer group day trips. We have such a wealth of beautiful gardens, historic monuments, cultural experiences, heritage sites and special interest tours, some of which may be unfamiliar to many people.

“Our aim at this event is to inspire people to visit somewhere that is new to them or to rediscover places that they may not have been to in many years and to provide useful advice on how to organise a successful group outing.”

Those wishing to register should contact the Northern Ireland Tourist Board on 028 9044 1506 or email a.andrews@nitb.com

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