Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - December 30


Free gift for cat owners

Attention all Belfast cat owners, give your cat the gift of neutering this Christmas — for free

Cats Protection — the UK’s leading feline welfare charity — is offering all Belfast cat owners the unique opportunity to have their pet neutered completely free of charge. The offer is open to all residents living within the BT1-BT16 postcode region and will run for a limited time only — so it’s ‘first come, first serve’ if you want to take full advantage of the charity’s Yuletide generosity.

For further information on Cats Protection’s free neutering campaign, please contact their Neutering Hotline on 0845 873 4780 or visit their website

Are you mensa material?

Mensa is offering the people of Belfast a chance to find out their own score and to see if they too can join 23,000 other members of The High IQ Society.

A supervised IQ test session has been organised on Saturday 22 January (10.00am) at Stranmillis University College for anyone interested in finding out their own IQ score for just £17.50.

To reserve a place on the test you can book online by visiting the IQ Test section of the Mensa website at Alternatively you can contact Helen Oliver on 01902 772 771 or email for more information.

Everyone who scores within the top 2% of the population is invited to join Mensa. More information about Mensa and IQ testing can be found via the Mensa website at

What’s on at Linenhall

The January 2011 calendar of events at Belfast’s Linenhall Library is as follows: Burns and Burnsiana is a free exhibition from January 4-31

Scottish poet and lyricist Robert Burns (1759 – 1796) is celebrated worldwide. The Linen Hall Library holds the unique position of having the most comprehensive Burns collection of material outside of Scotland, including the inaugural Belfast edition of Burns’ first collection of poems in 1787 (a year before the birth of the Linen Hall Library).

The Library’s Burns Night Celebration on Tuesday, 25 January at 7pm, costs £10 per person. Carrying on a tradition that began in the late 18th century, this is a Burns supper not to be missed featuring Address to a Haggis, bag pipes and more.

Also at the Linenhall Library: Islandmore, Strangford: An Illustrated Talk |on Island Life is on Wednesday, January 12, at 6pm. Admission is free and |the bountiful and beautiful Strangford area is the focus of this talk, organised by The Belfast Natural History and Philosophical Society.

On Tuesday, January 18, the focus is on Titanic Port — The Illustrated History of Belfast Harbour at 6.30pm for a free talk from author and Belfast Harbour expert Alf McCreary.

Finally, the Linen Hall Reading Group meets on Thursday 27 January at 1.10pm. All are welcome to join the discussion |of the month’s selected title. For January, Kathryn Stockett’s The Help is up for review.

For a complete schedule of all Library events from January — March 2011, visit, or pick up an events guide in the Library and at various |locations around Belfast.


Interested in taking part in the next community week?

The fourth Annual Blackstaff Community Week will be held from Monday, April 25 to Saturday, April 30 next year.

If your group, club, school or organisation would like to get involved by organising an event during the community week, then please phone Billy on 9029 2631 to indicate an interest. An application form will then be sent to you.

They are also keen to hear from |potential sponsors for events such as the best garden and best street competition. The event is being organised by the Blackstaff Community Development Association.


Christianity explored

Castlereagh Fellowship will begin |the New Year by running the popular Christianity Explored course over 10 consecutive Sunday evenings.

It starts on Sunday January 9, at 6.30pm in Greenway Women’s Centre (located above shops at entrance to Cregagh estate).

Each evening begins with a bite to eat and is followed by a presentation from the Bible with the opportunity to discuss and ask questions.

Course co-ordinator Geoff McIlrath said: “Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world have found Christianity Explored an informal context in which they can investigate for themselves the message of Christianity. It is open to everyone and you do not need to know anything about the Bible to come along.

“No one will be asked to read aloud, pray or sing. We are really looking forward to welcoming anyone who would like to join us and think things through.”

If you are interested in Christianity Explored and would like further information, please contact Geoff on 07918158082 or Patric on 07710033611.

Course information can also be found by visiting

Free skills training

Castlereagh Borough Council has devised a quarterly training calendar that aims to empower, educate and provide community groups and individuals from Castlereagh with the skills, information and advice needed to build, maintain and sustain a vibrant community organisation.

The calendar runs from January to March and includes sessions on mental health awareness, setting up a successful community group, equality, first aid, how to write effective tenders, community capacity building and many more.

The full training calendar can be viewed at Pre-booking is essential, please contact community development officer Lisa Wilson on 9049 4543 or email

Belfast Telegraph


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