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On the grapevine - February 10


Speaking of books...

The Northern Ireland public can indulge in their love of literature at a series of free events in public libraries across the province this week.

‘Speaking of Books’ is a week-long programme of events organised by Libraries NI. It features a selection of award-winning authors, as well as some upcoming local authors, who will read from their own novels and take questions from the audience.

Mairead Ferguson, cultural specialist manager with Libraries NI, said: “We are hoping that such high-profile events packed in to one week will be a big draw in encouraging people to come along.”

At 11am this Saturday, at Ormeau Road Library, Banyan Theatre Company presents a puppet version of The Emperor’s New Clothes. This performance is suitable for children aged 5-11 years who are accompanied by an adult.

Admission is free, but booking is essential on 90 509228. For a detailed listing of all events, go to www.librariesni.org.uk

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Listen to the village people

Many people listened in to hear a BBC Radio Ulster programme, 'The Village People' on Sunday at 1.30pm.

In the programme Colletta Smith follows three people preparing to move out of the redeveloping Village area and asks what they think the future holds for them. For those who missed it, 'The Village People' will be repeated on the station next Thursday, February 17, at 7.30pm.

Things to do

The Southcity Family & Youth Project at Maldon Street, off the Donegall Road, has launched an exciting programme of events involving social, physical activities and helping the unemployed with an an Employment Club for those 16 and over. It is held on a Wednesday and Friday between 2pm and 3pm.

Full details can be obtained by calling into the Southcity Resource and Development Centre at Maldon Street or phone 90 504747.

Valentines night disco

A Valentines Night Disco with a special guest star will be held this Saturday in Sandy Row Rangers Club, at the corner of Donegall Road and Sandy Row. The disco is in aid of the Automatic Dance School who will be representing Northern Ireland in the 5 Nations Freestyle Championship in Wales.

The disco starts at 8pm and goes on until late. Tickets are only £4.

Show us your photos!

The Ulster Wildlife Trust is looking for old photographs of the Blackstaff River. There have been similar requests by other organisations in the past but without success.

Do you have an old photograph of the Blackstaff? Do you have a book that contains a photo? Do you know of any library or museum that might have one? If you can help to find an old Blackstaff River photograph then please contact Deborah McLaughlin, Bog Meadows Wetlands Restoration Project Officer, at 07738 945052.

good news good news

The Good News Club at Fane Street Primary School, held each Thursday from 2pm until 2.45pm, will give children the opportunity to learn the sign language in easy stages as they go through the alphabet, linked to games, craft work, singing and Bible stories.

The school has a number of other after-school clubs and information about them is available from the school.


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 a £5 donation is made per seat with proceeds to go to Cruse Bereavement Care and the church hall redevlopment fund. It is advised to book your seat in advance — call 07824 849204 for more information.

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 07889 542960.


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 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 but if you are new to the sport and just want to watch, there’s great news — spectators have free entry!

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