Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - September 9

EAST BELFAST

Parliament opens its doors

Interested in seeing the centre of political power in Northern Ireland? This weekend the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Parliament Buildings will be open as part of the 2010 European Heritage Open Days.

Visitors to Parliament Buildings will be able to see the historic Assembly Chamber where MLAs debate the important issues of the day, have refreshments in the Long Gallery and view the range of locally produced goods in the Assembly gift shop.

William Hay, MLA, Speaker of the Assembly is pleased that the Assembly is taking part in the European Heritage Days. He said: “Parliament Buildings, as the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, is the centre of political life in Northern Ireland and we are always keen to encourage people to come and get involved. The Heritage Days give the Assembly an excellent opportunity to showcase our historic building.”

There will be free tours of Parliament Buildings on both Saturday and Sunday, the 11th and 12th of September, from 10am until 3pm. Refreshments will also be available in the Long Gallery.

Entry to Stormont Estate is via the Massey Avenue gate only. Visitors with mobility problems or any other special requirements should contact 028 9052 1172.

For more information, visit the Northern Ireland Assembly website www.niassembly.gov.uk

Fun weekend

Marie Curie Cancer Care is delighted to promote ‘Connswater’s Fun Weekend’ at Connswater Shopping Centre & Retail Park.

The event will take place in the shopping centre on Friday & Saturday September 17 and 18, from 10am to 4pm.

Grace Smyth, Community Fundraiser, Marie Curie Cancer Care said: “The management and staff of Connswater have worked very hard to pull this fun weekend together.

“All children are welcome to join in with our family fun days where we will be planting daffodils and decorating pots and each child will be able to take their pot home. There will also be facepainting, balloons and lots lots more.“

All donations from ‘Connswater’s Fun Weekend’ will be used for the special care of people with cancer at The Marie Curie Hospice Belfast and also in the privacy of patient’s own home through the Nursing Service.

Your support will help us continue to provide these caring services free of charge to patients and their families.

CASTLEREAGH

Bedding down for the winter

Plan ahead for the cold winter months by getting your electric blanket tested during a special home safety roadshow —courtesy of Castlereagh Borough Council.

The event will take place on Thursday, September 30 at the council Civic Centre from 10am to 4pm.

To book, please contact the council’s Environmental Health Service on 9049 4640.

CITY-WIDE

Teatimes a treat

Learning disability charity, Mencap is delighted to announce the launch of a new fundraising initiative that may just be the ‘The Yummiest way to fundraise’.

‘Tea with Me’ will be asking the public to hold their very own quaint tea party — full of tea, cake, and chat, to raise funds for people with a learning disability here in Northern Ireland.

You are invited to the formal launch of the ‘Tea with Me’ initiative at the stunning boutique B&B, Maryville House (Lisburn Road, Belfast) on Thursday September 30 at 3pm — set to be a delectable afternoon tea in style.

Lorna Patterson, area fundraising manager for Mencap said: “’Tea with Me’ is a unique event that brings friends and family together in a fun environment and it can be as big as you like. Not only will you be raising vital funds for Mencap, but it is a fantastic way of treating you and your guests; you could even theme your party.

“We can provide a fundraising pack for your event – full of tips for a fun day, invitations to send to your guests and posters. ’Tea with Me’ is open to everyone and the fundraising team for Northern Ireland will support you every step of the way.”

For more information on the Launch or how you can hold your own ‘Tea with me’ party, contact Lorna Patterson on 028 9069 0166 or email lorna.patterson@mencap.org.uk. Also visit www.mencap.org.uk/teawithme

Tickets for the launch event are £10.

CITY CENTRE

Transatlantic exhibition

On Monday September 13 the Linen Hall Library will launch ‘Transatlantic Links’, a collection of rarely-seen items charting Ulster emigration to the US from 1722 to 1848.

The exhibition charts the five great waves of migration from Ulster to America during the eighteenth century, and illustrates the desire for religious freedom, personal and political liberty and the better life that seemed to beckon from the other side of the Atlantic.

Featured in the exhibition is a book of letters written by Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the US.

The exhibition will be displayed in the Library’s Vertical Gallery and will run until Friday December 24.

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