Belfast Telegraph

On the grapevine - March 9


Saddle up with march medley

A charity that is soon to be providing riding therapy with donkeys to children with special needs and disabilities is organising a musical fundraising evening on March 29 from 7.30pm at Barnabys Restaurant to raise funds for its newest centre at Templepatrick, County Antrim.

The Elisabeth Svendsen Trust (EST) in Belfast will be providing donkey riding therapy from Easter 2011 and ‘March Medley’ will be an entertaining evening filled with music performed by local singing group ‘Gaslight’ plus an extra special performance on the harp and the dulcimer by Dick and Sabina Glasgow.

EST Belfast centre manager, Tina Symington, says: “We’re all very excited about our March Medley evening. The event is being organised by Belfast local Frances Wright who has so far managed to raise a staggering £3,000 for our centre. The funds will help us to provide riding therapy to hundreds of children with special needs from all over Belfast and we’d love the local community to support this event.”

‘March Medley’ will be taking place at Barnabys Restaurant, 153 Ballyrobert Road, Ballyclare, BT39 9RT from 7.30pm until 10.30pm.

Tickets cost £10 to include supper and can be purchased by contacting Tina Symington on 07739 323 474.

EST Belfast will welcome around 150 local children with special needs and disabilities to the centre each week for therapeutic riding sessions. The charity will also provide outreach visits with donkeys to residents of nursing homes, hospices and care homes.

For more information about EST visit

Muddy boots

The Muddy Boots horticultural programme is a fun initiative, delivered by horticulturist Tom O’Sullivan, set up to teach local groups how to grow their own vegetables and fruit.

A novel feature of this tailored project is that sessions are delivered at the premises of interested groups, establishing a vegetable garden at a location convenient to participants.

A multimedia pack which includes |instructional DVDs and cards, vegetable wheel, job planner and a healthy-eating guide, is also provided for each group at the free Getting Started session.

In addition, each participant will receive a Fresh Food Route to Healthy Living guide which contains a wide range of fresh food recipes and useful reference sections.

A restricted number of free places are available up until March 2011.

If your group would like to get involved please contact the Muddy Boots team on 028 9034 0160 or email


Parent & baby cinema

Movie House Glengormley will hold a very special movie screening — just for new parentsand baby can come too!

Mums and dads with a baby aged one or under can come along to the first screening this Thursday, March 10; doors open at 11.45am with the movie starting at noon.

Local health visitor Sinead Lynch approached the cinema with the idea. She said: “There are a lot of parents out there who are home with baby and can be quite isolated.

“They feel they can’t bring such a young baby to a mother and toddler group and there just isn’t much to do if they want to get out of the house and see people and do something different.

“Mums who are breastfeeding find it difficult to get out at night with their friends so this is a totally different option for them. They’ll have the chance to meet other mums and chat about their new baby as well as catching up on one of the latest movies,” she added.

The first movie is the romantic comedy Just Go With It starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler.

The cost to attend is £3.25 per parent. For more info ring Glengormley on 02890833424 or go to


A little birdie told me... may be able to volunteer an hour this year to support RSPB.

The RSPB is holding Love Nature Week from May 28 to June 5 this year and it is looking for as many volunteers to help out as possible.

Cara Gibney, RSPB volunteer development officer said: “We will be holding a day-long collection in Belfast City Centre and are looking for volunteers to help shake and rattle as many tins as we can get our hands on. It will be part of the wider Love Nature Week, where across the UK people will be doing everything they can to make a big noise about how something needs to be done for the environment and the wildlife in it, or we will have very little to pass on to the next |generation.

“With the money collected, the RSPB carries out a mind-boggling array of activities, from education in schools to advocacy in Stormont. We also are on the ground working with farmers for farmland birds, and in places as far away as Indonesia restoring rainforests. When you volunteer with the RSPB you are acting local and thinking global — |literally.”

To step out for nature with the RSPB, call 02890491547 or email


One for the bookworms

Book worms are in for treat as NI writers hit the road for national literature tour this week.

A nationwide literature tour is taking to the road for a three night run of free events this week around the country and will be dropping into the Crescent Arts Centre this Sunday March 13.

A selection of Northern Irish writers, who have all been published by local companies, will read extracts from their books to a local audience at the intimate events taking place that include an evening at Belfast’s Crescent Arts Centre.

Guests will be able to enjoy some light refreshments while they peruse a selection of locally published books by the featured writers, which will be on display for purchase.

Writers who will be reading at the event include Terri Hooley, Tim Brannigan, Sean Mackel, Carlo Gebler and Ivan Mckeown. Places at the events are very limited so to guarantee your free place contact Nicola on 07590 606727.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph