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On the grapevine - February 3


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 12noon to 6pm.

If you think your skateboarding skills are up to scratch, come along and have a go, meet new friends and to 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


Moneyreagh regeneration plan meeting

A public consultation event has been organised to engage with local residents about how to promote and develop Moneyreagh.

Local residents, businesses and service providers are invited to attend the meeting on Wednesday, February 9 at either 11am or 8pm at Moneyreagh Community Centre (refreshments will be provided).

The public consultation offers local people an opportunity to develop an integrated approach to regeneration, to meet the challenges and contribute to the sustainability of the village. Ideas for regeneration can be physical, such as streetscape improvements or aesthetic improvements, or they can also be social, such as promoting community inclusiveness and participation.

Castlereagh Borough Council, along with Lisburn City Council and Belfast City Council have secured funding from Lagan Rural Partnership for the development of village action plans.

At the next stage of the scheme, villages with an action plan will then be able to apply, through a competitive process, to the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, to part-fund projects identified as part of their plan. Upon completion of plans, the council hopes to apply for 75% grant funding to implement some of the actions recommended in the plan.

For further information, |contact Colin McCabrey, economic development manager on T: 028 9049 4516 or M: 077033 60132.

Autism training sessions

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

Please feel free to pass on this information to anyone situated 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 — Granparenting 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.

Caroline Birch, chairperson of the group, said: “We feel very privileged to be able to offer these services completely free of charge and would ask you to forward this information on to whoever you feel would benefit from this training.”

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

Laurel and Hardy appreciation evening

Expect lots of laughs at Newtownbreda Presbyterian Church when they host a Laurel and Hardy Appreciation night on Saturday, February 12.

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

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


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 from Monday, February 7 to Saturday, February 12.

‘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 committed to delivering a wide and varied range of literary events throughout our network of libraries and believe it can yield real benefits for local people.

“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 on Saturday, February 12 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 — 028 9050 9228

Belfast Telegraph