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On the grapevine - February 2

NORTH BELFAST

Opportunity knocks at bowling club

FOR the third year running Cavehill Bowling Club, supported by Belfast City Council, will be opening their clubhouse on Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 4.30pm.

Anyone, young, middle-aged or old, can come along to enjoy the experience of playing a game of bowls on one of their three indoor bowling mats. No previous experience is necessary — seasoned bowlers and qualified coaches will be in attendance to help you get started.

There’s no charge for taking part and the only thing required of you, if possible, is to bring along flat-soled shoes which are necessary when you are using the bowling mats. No equipment is needed as sets of bowls will be available.

Bowls is one of the friendliest sports to be involved in and we will offer a warm welcome to you and your friends. A short refreshment break will be provided at each session, giving the opportunity to meet new friends and have a good time. So come along and give it a try.

If you intend to be present it would be appreciated if you could either contact Tom Sutton on 93350689 or 90719147 (Cavehill Bowling Club, 20 North|Circular Road B15 5HB).

DISCTRICT-WIDE

Pensioners’ parliament

The Northern Ireland Pensioners’ Parliament is coming to Belfast on Friday, March 4 and the organisers are encouraging local people to get involved.

Age Sector Platform, which represents around 200,000 older people across the province, will be launching the first Northern Ireland Pensioners’ Parliament this year.

Older people from the area are encouraged to fill in a short questionnaire to ensure their view is recorded. This will take no longer than five minutes to complete, with the main question asking: “What are the main problems facing older people today?”

If you would like to attend the Belfast Parliament or would like to fill in a questionnaire, please visit www.pensionersparliament.org or phone 028 9031 2089.

This could be up your tree

Woodland Trust seeks volunteers with tree planting know-how. Woodland creation champions wanted!

If you’re passionate about trees and woodland, then the Woodland Trust would love to hear from you. The conservation charity is asking for the support of volunteers to help achieve its ambition of doubling native tree cover across the UK.

By sharing their knowledge of trees and woodland creation, volunteers will inspire and advise individuals and groups who are considering creating new native woodland.

The Woodland Trust has created a whole package of tree-planting offers enabling community groups, farmers and other landowners to plant trees and create homes for our precious wildlife. The trust’s package includes practical tree planting advice and, in some cases, funding.

Jackie Morgan, the trust’s advice and partnerships manager, says: “We’ve had a really encouraging response from people — right throughout Northern Ireland — who are keen to turn unused areas of land into native woodland.

“We’re now hoping to enlist the support of volunteers who might engage with and provide encouragement to landowners. We’re after individuals who have a good knowledge of trees and woodland creation. And, of course, their skills, experience and interests will determine their level of involvement.”

Volunteer tasks may include responding to emails or telephone calls from would-be tree planters; visiting the woodland creation site and assessing its suitability for planting; and assisting with the planting design and choice of species.

A one day induction will take place in May, while ongoing support is available from the trust’s woodland creation team.

To become a Woodland Creation Champion, or to simply find out more, please telephone Rowena Grew on 0845 293 5872 or email rowenagrew@woodlandtrust.org.uk

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 various 11 walks taking place from Saturday, March 26 to Sunday, April 3.

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

Familiar faces are also expected among the stampede of walkers with May McFettridge, actress Olivia Nash, Miss NI, Paul Clark and other personalities tying an extra knot in their laces to take part in one of the 11 walks.

Northern Ireland Hospice is a local charity caring for over 3,000 people across both adult and children’s services in hospice and in the community.

Money raised from events like the 2011 Hospice Walk will help care for those living with a terminal illness and will offer support for their families.

All care is free of charge and is provided 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

To walk for the hospice, it’s as easy as ABC — get registered, get sponsored, and get walking!

If you would like to take your first step towards taking part in the 2011 Hospice Walk, 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 Tow Path, 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, Portstewart, Antrim, Belfast Castle and Larne

CITY-CENTRE

Community courses

Newtownabbey Borough Council are running a series of free courses as part of their community capacity programme.

Next Monday (February 7) a ‘sourcing funding’ workshop takes place at Mossley Mill from 6pm to 9pm.

This course will help you understand the grant-makers’ perspective, identify funders and obtain advice on what makes a grant-winning project. With over 1,000 funding opportunities available to organisations, causes and projects in Northern Ireland this course will seek to inform and inspire!

To book your place call Lois on 9034 0208.

Belfast Telegraph