Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - March 10

CASTLEREAGH

Autism training sessions

Helping Hands autism support group, which offers weekly play days for children on the ASD spectrum, is offering the following training events to any family or community organisation that is affected by autism, ASD, Asperger’s or challenging behaviours.

All events will take place at |Hanwood Complex, Kinross Avenue, |Tullycarnet.

Tuesday, March 15: Grandparents’ evening — Grandparenting a child with autism.

Tuesday, March 29: Siblings’ evening — Being a brother or sister to someone with autism.

Tuesday, April 12: Volunteers in the community — Supporting children and adults with autism and their families within your organisation.

If you require further information, please contact the group via email at helpinghandsbelfast@yahoo.co.uk, or telephone 07889 542960.

EAST BELFAST

A healthy welcome

THE East Belfast Ethnic Support Network, East Belfast Community Development Agency and the Housing Executive will be launching a Community Welcome Pack at an exciting Health Event in Connswater Shopping Centre on Wednesday March 16 from 11am to 2pm.

It will offer an opportunity to receive free allergy testing, advice on cancer awareness and dental health as well as a free massage. The kids can their faces painted and enjoy balloon modelling, and much more.

The new Welcome Pack is full of information about the services and activities going on in east Belfast. It will be a great resource for new and current residents providing up to date contact numbers, addresses and lists of what is currently going on.

|mini-man jam

T13, the new urban sports park at |Titanic Quarter (Queen’s Road, Belfast), is hosting a Mini-man jam — a national skateboarding event for kids aged 14 and under on Saturday, March 12 from 12 noon to 6pm.

If you think your skateboarding skills are up to scratch, come along and have a go, it’s £10 to ride. If you are new to the sport and want to watch, there’s great news — spectators have free entry. There will be music at the event, a barbeque and great prizes on offer. For more info, visit www.t13.tv.

CITY CENTRE

Cancer can be prevented

Action Cancer is offering a series of information and support sessions for those affected by the disease.

They will run every Monday until March 14 at Action Cancer House, Belfast (6-9pm). They aim to assist those affected and their families to readjust to life with cancer. The sessions will look at counselling and therapeutic support, reactions within the family and living with the consequences of cancer.

If you would like more information or are interested in attending any of sessions, please contact Elizabeth Boyd at Action Cancer on 028 9080 3351 or eboyd@actioncancer.org.

DISTRICT-WIDE

Funding available for social entrepreneurs

UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs opens a new round of funding to support social ventures in Northern Ireland.

Their Level 2 funding for individuals looking for investment to grow their social venture.

Funding of up to £15,000 will be available to up to three established social entrepreneurs, who have already created a project with an income of £20,000, who now wish to replicate or scale up the venture.

For more information visit www.unltd.org.uk/level2 and www.unltd.org.uk/engage/ignite.

Lagan Festival

The inaugural Lagan Festival of speech, drama, art and song will officially launch at the Beechlawn House Hotel, Dunmurray this Friday March 11.

The festival will have a number of new features that will really set it apart. An art exhibition will encourage performers to express their poem visually, and in doing so inspire their oral interpretation of it. Prizewinning local artist, Neil Shawcross, will judge the art exhibition, selecting the best within age categories.

The Tosini Organisation — Teachers of Singing in Ireland have joined forces with the Lagan Festival in their mission to put young students first by creating a supportive environment for them to learn about performance. A number of short performances including a special guest and classical music star, Eugene O’Hagan from The Priests and talented local Harpist Mairead Duffy.

For more info contact Catherine Gardiner. on 07824 992423.

ARDS

See the stars

The Irish Astronomical Association is offering a public astronomy event this Friday evening (March 11) at 7.30 p.m, at Castle Espie Wetland Centre.

There will be a selection of powerful telescopes and binoculars for viewing the night sky, an exhibition, and of course the mobile planetarium just in case of bad weather.

The highlight will be a spectacular crescent Moon high in the sky, providing jaw-dropping views in the telescopes. If you are there early, it might be your last chance for a look at Jupiter before it disappears into the evening twilight.

This is always a very popular event, so book early with the WWT at Castle Espie (normal admission charges apply): http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit-us/castle-espie/events/star-gazing.

This is followed by a special free astronomy event on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday March 12 and 13, at the famous International Geopark at Marble Arch Caves in Co. Fermanagh.

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