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On the grapevine - February 10

EAST BELFAST

Mini-man jam

T13, the new urban sports park at Titanic Quarter (Queen’s Road, Belfast), is hosting a Mini-man jam — a national skateboarding event for kids aged 14 and under on Saturday, March 12 from 12 noon to 6pm.

If you think your skateboarding skills are up to scratch, come along and have a go, meet new friends and show off your talents on the number one skateboard destination in the whole of Ireland (helmets are compulsory for all competitors).

It’s £10 to ride. If you are new to the sport and want to watch, there’s great news — spectators have free entry.

There will be music at the event, a barbeque and great prizes on offer.

For more information visit www.t13.tv

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Laurel and Hardy appreciation evening

Expect lots of laughs at Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church when they host a Laurel and Hardy Appreciation Night this Saturday.

Beginning at 7.30pm, expect funny films, a fancy dress look-a-like competition and lots of live performance sketches.

It is suggested that a £5 donation is made per seat — funds will go to Cruse Bereavement Care and the church hall redevelopment fund. You’re advised to book a seat in advance — call 07824849204 for more information.

Story dance

Woodstock Library will provide locals with an opportunity to learn the art of Kathak dance at a workshop given by ArtsEkta, an organisation which delivers Kathak classes through the South Asian Dance Academy, on Monday, February 21 from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.

Libraries NI cultural specialist manager Mairead Ferguson said: “The workshop will cover a brief introduction to Kathak dancing. Kathak comes from the word kathars or storytellers who, from 2,000 years ago, used their craft as a source of income as they travelled through the Indian subcontinent entertaining the public.”

The workshop is free but you need to book a place in advance — contact 028 9050 9239 or drop in at the Woodstock Library, 358 Woodstock Road.

Cancer can be prevented

In line with the theme for World Cancer Day last week (February 4), Action Cancer highlights that through increased awareness, health promotion and early detection the number of people living with the illness in Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland can be reduced and survival rates improved.

Experts say up to 50% of certain cancers can be prevented through simple lifestyle changes but still 9,000 people are diagnosed with the illness here every year and the numbers continue to climb.

Action Cancer is offering a series of information and support sessions for those affected by the disease. They will run every Monday from February 14 to March 14 at Action Cancer House, Belfast (6-9pm). They aim to assist those affected and their families to readjust to life with cancer.

The sessions will look at counselling and therapeutic support, reactions within the family and living with the consequences of cancer.

If you would like more information or are interested in attending any of sessions please contact Elizabeth Boyd at Action Cancer on 028 9080 3351 or eboyd@actioncancer.org.

For more information on the charity’s work, visit www.actioncancer.org or call 028 9080 3344.

CASTLEREAGH

Autism training sessions

Helping Hands autism support group, which offers weekly playdays for children on the ASD spectrum, is offering the following training events to any family or community organisation that is affected by autism, ASD, Asperger’s or challenging behaviours.

Feel free to pass on this information to anyone in the east Belfast or Castlereagh area.

All events will take place at Hanwood Complex, Kinross Avenue, Tullycarnet.

Tuesday, February 15: The impact of sensory issues on the management of challenging behaviour.

Thursday, March 3: Dads’ evening — Parenting a child with autism.

Tuesday, March 15: Grandparents’ evening — Grandparenting a child with autism.

Tuesday, March 29: Siblings’ evening — Being a brother or sister to someone with autism.

Tuesday, April 12: Volunteers in the community — Supporting children and adults with autism and their families within your organisation.

If you require further information, please contact the group via email at helpinghandsbelfast@yahoo.co.uk, or telephone 07889542960.

DISTRICT-WIDE

Step into spring for hospice

Northern Ireland Hospice is encouraging people of all ages to take steps to support the 2011 Hospice Walk. Thousands of people are expected to participate in the 11 walks taking place from Saturday, March 26 to Sunday, April 3.

People of all ages and ability can take up the charity challenge to walk from a minimum of 1.5 miles to a maximum of 11 miles in various annual routes.

Familiar faces are also expected among the stampede of walkers — May McFettridge, actress Olivia Nash and other personalities will be tying an extra knot in their laces to take part in the walks.

Money raised from events like the Hospice Walk help care for those living with a terminal illness and offer support for their families. All care is free of charge and is provided 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Register today by visiting nihospice.org, by telephoning 028 90777123 or by texting the word|HOSPICE to 81222.

Hospice Walk dates:

Saturday, March 26 (walks start at 10am) — Lagan Towpath, Carrickfergus and North Down.

Sunday, April 3 (walks start at 8.30am) — Mournes Mountain Trek.

Saturday, April 2 (walks start at 10am) — Castle Ward, Castle Coole, Colin Glen, Antrim, Belfast Castle and Larne.


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