Belfast Telegraph

Teamwork pays off at community event

By Bob Malcolm

Residents from Bloomfield and Clandeboye enjoyed the last days of summer with a community fun day set up by the Bloomfield Community Association and Clandeboye Village Community Centre with help from the Housing Executive's Shared Communities Programme.

The festivities on September 14 included bungy-jump/climb, bouncy castles (including one for the big kids), a wildfowler rifle range, balloon making, face-painting and pony rides.

Event attendees had the opportunity to sample Chinese, Indian and Polish foods – highlighting the diverse cultures now living in and around the Bangor area.

Northern Irish cuisine was also on the menu with the Irish stew proving popular, as the summer turns autumnal.

The Community groups organised a 'Shared Communities Cake' which was cut by Bloomfield's oldest senior citizen, who is at the grand age of 95 and who thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Renowned local musician Merrell Forbes brought his guitar and sang, meanwhile comedian John Cook kept his audience laughing.

The entertainment continued with a DJ providing a disco in the marquee.

The co-ordinators say they made sure members of the older generation were fully included in the day's activities.

They organised for Bloomfield seniors to be transported over to Clandeboye Community Centre for a chance to meet with their counterparts living in the Clandeboye area. When they finished off their chat they travelled back en masse to Bloomfield to join the afternoon's events.

Local Green Party MLA Steven Agnew officially opened the event. "I want to thank all the volunteers from Bloomfield and Clandeboye who have worked so hard to foster strong community links and also for the support of the Housing Executive which has helped make this scheme so successful," he said.

"I am proud of all the local communities and individuals who have put so much effort into outreach work which has made this Shared Communities project inclusive for all as it has helped foster a real sense of civic pride and community cohesion."

Chair of the Bloomfield Community Association, Isobelle Hamiliton, said: "I am delighted with the local response to today's event. Seeing first-hand such community spirit coming to the fore with people from both areas of all ages together enjoying the food and entertainment is terrific."

Aaron McMahon, the Chair of Clandeboye Village Association, commented: "So many people turning up this afternoon is a great tribute to all the volunteers who helped the two community groups with organising the event. It has made all the hard work worthwhile."

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