Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - March 30


In mothers we (national) trust

The National Trust have been celebrating Mother’s Day since the 1600s with chocolates and flowers being the much-favoured gifts, but this year why not give mum what she really wants — some precious family time where everyone can get together and really spoil her.

On Mother’s day, Sunday April 3, cream teas, three-course lunches, dramas, costume displays, spring strolls and music in the garden form part of the variety you can treat your mum to, thanks to steps taken by the National Trust.

Here’s some Mother’s Day treats for inspiration. For more information on National Trust special places — visit

Castle Ward

Cream Teas in Lord Bangor’s Sitting Room, 2pm-4.30pm

Treat your mum to a delightful cream tea in Lord Bangor’s private quarters. Cost includes a self-guided tour of Castle Ward mansion. Booking Essential Adult £6 Contact 028 4488 1015

Four Seasons Series — Mother’s Day Spring Stroll. Walks: 11am to 2.15pm and 3pm to 4.15pm

Take a spring stroll with our knowledgeable guide who will lead you through the exotic Victorian Sunken garden and around this stunning demesne. Then relax in the Stableyard to the sounds of Vivaldi and other classical works. Mothers receive free entry when accompanied by 2 paying children under 16 years.

Music: 1-3.30pm, normal admission Members Free. Cream teas are also available for £6 per person in the restaurant.

Mount Stewart, Ards

Mum’s the Word, 12.30pm to 3pm,

Enjoy a special three course lunch in the Bay Restaurant followed by a leisurely stroll around the beautiful gardens. Booking Essential Contact 028 4278 7807. Adult £30 Child £10

Musical Sunday, 3pm to 5.30pm,

Music will be a key feature in the gardens on the first Sunday of every month, from traditional folk to big band, there will be music to suit all tastes. So come along and find out who’s striking a chord in the gardens today. For details contact 028 4278 8387 Normal Admission — Members free.


A gala performance

The Link Family and Community Centre in Newtownards, nominated as the Mayor of Newtownards chosen charity for 2010/11, is delighted that the relationship is to be celebrated in a very special evening next month.

A Gala Performance for Ards, a charity fundraising cross-community concert, is set to take place in the Ulster Hall at 7.30pm on Saturday, April 9, to celebrate this relationship.

It will feature performers from across the community in a musical extravaganza guaranteed to appeal to all tastes. Tickets are on sale now through the Ulster Hall Box Office and early booking is recommended. In Mayor David Smyth’s words: “ It’s one night to remember — for a concert you’ll never forget!”

Ulster Hall Box Office — tel: (028) 9033 4455 or Tickets are £20, concessions £15 and a family ticket £55 (two adults and two children under 18).

Big bus drives cancer service

Northern Ireland’s leading local cancer charity, Action Cancer, is bringing its mobile unit, the Big Bus, to Ards as part of its ongoing tour of the region.

The unit, which is the first of its kind in Europe, will be hosted by Ards Community Network and located at Comber Leisure Centre, Bridge Street Link, Comber, on Saturday, April 2. On Wednesday, April 6, the Big Bus will be hosted by Breezemount Community Association and located at Breezemount Grove, Conlig, Newtownards.

Anyone interested in making an appointment for the Big Bus should telephone Action Cancer in advance on 028 9080 3344. Appointments will be available from 10am to 3pm each day or use the dedicated email address

Bookings are taken on a first come first served basis as there are a limited number of appointments for all services.

Up for an adventure

The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has teamed up with to encourage people across the country to get outdoors and try something new by taking part in the first Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend, which takes place on Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10.

The weekend will see 23 outdoor activity providers across Northern Ireland offering more than 100 adventure ideas from canoeing or mountain-boarding to rock-climbing or surfing for only £10 per person.

To get people started, NITB and have compiled a list of sample providers and activities on offer during Adventureland Weekend with more information and ideas available at

Events will be taking place at Orlock Point in Groomsport and Clearsky Adventure Centre in Strangford.


Relief from your struggles and strife

LifeRing, a new recovery group for people with alcohol and substance abuse issues will be holding meetings at 8pm on Tuesdays and Fridays at the Quaker Meeting House, Frederick Street, Belfast.

This recovery group is the first in the UK to welcome both carers and families along to the meetings.

LifeRing Secular Recovery is an international organisation which adopts a non 12-Step approach for people who want to live free of alcohol or other addictive drugs.

LifeRing follows the three S’s: Sobriety, Self Help and Secularity. The group encourages people to build a treatment plan which suits them individually.

Philip Henderson from Lifering said: “We see LifeRing as an extra choice in the on-going struggle against drug (including prescription drugs) and alcohol addiction. There are more women than men using our service as women enjoy the group sharing and interaction. The women we have spoke to say that they find Alcohols Anonymous (AA) as a male dominated organisation and LifeRing offers an alternative.”

In you want to find out about anymore information about the organisation Lifeline’s designated number 07908489522 or visit

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