Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - March 31

NEWTOWNABBEY

An evening with Yazz

In 1988 pop star and model Yazz enjoyed five weeks at the top of the UK Charts with her hit single ‘The Only Way is Up’. But what was it like to be that 26 year old with the bleach blond hair, the high energy hits and the celebrity lifestyle?

The good times continued, with another single release ‘Stand up for your Love Rights’ reaching number 2 in the charts later that year, but off stage Yazz was not in a good place. Going through a painful and public divorce from her husband / manager, coping with agoraphobia, and battling a growing alcohol dependency the wheels came off and life hit rock bottom.

One night, at her lowest point, she asked her mother for a Bible: ‘I opened the Bible in bed that evening and I can only explain that I had a divine experience. I felt peace and warmth from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet and I knew it was something to do with the author of the book.’

On Wednesday April 13 at 7.30pm Yazz will be singing live and sharing her story at Ballyhenry Presbyterian Church in Newtownabbey (just off the Sandyknowes Roundabout). This event is open to all in the community, admission is free, parking is available on site and doors will open at 7pm.

After more than a decade away from recording and performing, Yazz’s latest album Running Back to You tells the story of a remarkable journey, a journey through life, which eventually led to the cross of Christ, a place that Yazz describes as ‘the cross of possibilities – the possibility of being restored to the Father in heaven.’

Could you be queen?

Have you got what it takes to become the Ballyclare May Fair Queen 2011?

Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Ballyclare May Fair Sub Committee is delighted to announce the return of the May Fair Queen Crowning Cabaret on Friday 20 May 2011 in Ballyclare Comrades Club.

Kathy Wolff, Chair of the Sub Committee said: ‘the May Fair Queen Crowning Cabaret is one of the highlights of the May Fair. We are looking for someone with a sparkling personality and a special talent that makes them stand out from the crowd’.

Remember the May Fair takes place on 20 – 24 May 2011 and the earlier you get your registration in, the better. The closing date for registration is Monday 25th April 2011.

Application forms can be obtained from Ballyclare Town Hall or can be downloaded from www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/ballyclaremayfair. For up to date information on the fair, follow us on facebook – www.facebook.com/ballyclaremayfair

NORTH BELFAST

Big bus drives cancer service

Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity, Action Cancer is bringing its mobile unit, the Big Bus, to Ards, as part of its ongoing tour of the region.

The unit, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will be hosted by North Belfast Women’s Initiative and located at the Everton Complex, Ardoyne Road BT14 on Thursday April 7.

The 18 metre-long articulated vehicle with expanding side pods, houses cancer prevention and early detection services and staff on the unit also provide information about support services.

Anyone interested in making an appointment for the Big Bus should telephone Action Cancer in advance on 028 9080 3344. Appointments will be available from 10am to 3pm each day.

Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis as there are a limited number of appointments for all services.

Playdays for the parents

The PTA of St Mary’s-on-the-Hill primary School in Carnmoney are organising a fun night of games and music, for parents and their friends in their bid to raise money for educational equipment for the pupils at the school.

On Friday April 8, quizzes, stand-up bingo, raffles, ‘tossing the coins’ and a variety of other games followed by a disco will take place at Corrs Corner Hotel in Newtownabbey.

Although the main ethos of the evening is to raise funds for the school, it is also a an ideal social event to forge friendships amongst the parents.

To book your ticket you can contact the school on 9083 6284or pay on the door on the night.

DISTRICT-WIDE

Up for an adventure

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has teamed up with OutdoorNI.com to encourage people across the country to get outdoors and try something new by taking part in the first ever Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend which takes place on Saturday April 9 and Sunday April 10.

Families and individuals can try coasteering, kayaking or Sea Safari. The Adventureland Weekend also marks the launch of an entire summer of outdoor activities in Northern Ireland.

To get people started, NITB and OutdoorNI.com have compiled a list of sample providers and activities on offer during Adventureland Weekend with more information and ideas available at www.discovernorthernireland.com/adventureland.

CITY CENTRE

Relief from your struggles and strife

LifeRing, a new recovery group for people with alcohol and substance abuse issues will be holding meetings at 8pm on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Quaker Meeting House, Frederick Street, Belfast.

This recovery group is the first in the UK to welcome both carers and families along to the meetings.

LifeRing Secular Recovery is an international organisation which adopts a non 12-Step approach for people who want to live free of alcohol or other addictive drugs. LifeRing follows the three S’s: Sobriety, Self Help and Secularity. The group encourages people to build a treatment plan which suits them individually.

Philip Henderson from Lifering said: “We see LifeRing as an extra choice in the on-going struggle against drug (including prescription drugs) and alcohol addiction. There are more women than men using our service as women enjoy the group sharing and interaction. The women we have spoke to say that they find Alcohols Anonymous (AA) as a male dominated organisation and LifeRing offers an alternative.”

In you want to find out about anymore information about the organisation Lifeline’s designated number 07908489522 or visit www.lifeline.org

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