Belfast Telegraph

Grapevine - March 24


Saddle up with march medley

A charity that is soon to be providing riding therapy with donkeys to children with special needs and disabilities is organising a musical fundraising evening next Tuesday, March 29 from 7.30pm at Barnabys Restaurant to raise funds for its newest centre at Templepatrick, County Antrim.

The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust (EST) in Belfast will be providing donkey riding therapy from Easter 2011 and ‘March Medley’ will be an entertaining evening filled with music performed by local singing group ‘Gaslight’ plus an extra special performance on the harp and the dulcimer by Dick and Sabina Glasgow.

‘March Medley’ will be taking place at Barnabys Restaurant, 153 Ballyrobert Road, Ballyclare, BT39 9RT from 7.30pm until 10.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 to include supper and can be purchased by contacting Tina Symington on 07739 323 474.

EST Belfast will welcome around 150 local children with special needs and disabilities to the centre each week for therapeutic riding sessions. The charity will also provide outreach visits with donkeys to residents of nursing homes, hospices and care homes.

For more information about EST visit

North belfast

Women lead the way for business

A conference is being held in Belfast next Tuesday to help local groups decide whether a social economy business could help sustain their work.

The free event has been organised by the Women’s Centres Regional Partnership in St Luke’s Hall (Morpeth Street, off Northumberland Street), on Tuesday March 29, from 10am-2pm.

A range of speakers including Margaret Ward and Liz Curran (pictured) will be at the event to explain how a social economy business actually works and to demystify this commonly used term.

At the event, women will hear about how social enterprise can be used to support community groups and charities to help sustain projects and services that benefit people in Belfast and beyond.

Graham, Director of Social Economy Network, will be speaking at the event and comments: “Many people have good business ideas but lack confidence or know-how. People may be put off by the current uncertain economic climate, but new businesses can thrive even when economic conditions are tough.”

Betty Carlisle, MBE, Shankill Women’s Centre, said: “We’re delighted the WCRP social economy event will showcase our new social economy building ‘Small Wonders II’ located between the peace line, and set up to provide a neutral base for childcare and educational services.

“The previously derelict building, funded by the EU Peace III Programme, will be providing local employment and services for North and West Belfast.”

There will also be a discussion on how to set up a social economy business and the support that is available. For further information contact Kelli Boyles by email: or tel: 028 9023 0212.

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.

Services provided on the Big Bus, which is fully accessible for people with disabilities by means of a wheelchair lift, include digital breast screening for women aged between 40 and 49 and over 70 and health promotion and MOT health checks for men and women.

A weightloss clinic using the latest technology provides clients with a full body composition analysis and offers tailored guidance on reaching and maintaining an ideal weight.

Big Bus staff can provide information on complementary therapies and other cancer support services such as counselling, a Listening Ear Service and support groups, which are available for cancer patients, their carers and families at the charity’s headquarters in Belfast and at other locations.

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.


Up for an adventure

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has teamed up with 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.

The weekend will see 23 outdoor activity providers across Northern Ireland offering more than 100 adventure ideas from canoeing or mountain-boarding to rock-climbing or surfing for only £10 per person.

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 have compiled a list of sample providers and activities on offer during Adventureland Weekend with more information and ideas available at

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