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On the grapevine - September 23


First birthday party!

The Valley Leisure Centre will be a hub of activity on Saturday, September 25, when celebrations kick off for Playzone’s first birthday.

Playzone opened its doors a year ago and to celebrate the Valley leisure centre is inviting you to an action- packed party which will include children’s entertainers, face painting, balloon release and lots more!

Everything is free of charge, with five sessions running as follows: 12-1pm; 1-2pm; 2-3pm; 3-4pm; 4-5pm. However, space will be limited and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, with the option to book a slot by emailing partycoordinator@newtownabbey.gov.uk with your first and second preference.

Speaking about the event, Stephen Bartley, operations manager at the Valley, commented;

“It’s hard to believe that a fun-filled year has passed since the official opening of Playzone. Hundreds of children have had a fabulous time using the slides, flumes and climbing wall and we’ve had many very happy birthday parties here too. Now it’s our turn to celebrate and we are inviting you to join us!”

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Play Zone operates on 45-minute play sessions, commencing on the hour every hour. Sessions cost £3.50 per child. Children can also host a Playzone Party in one of three great party rooms and enjoy 45-minute play session as well. Playzone Party Packages start from £8 per child, with a variety of food options available.

For further information, contact the Valley on 9086 1211.

Apple fest

In our lunch boxes, for our school breaks, sliced in pies, baked, in puddings or turned into sauce, there can't be many who haven't eaten apple at some time.

Now with the apple picking season nearly here, Newtownabbey Borough Council is looking for people to take part in the area’s first ever Applefest.

On Saturday, September 25, the Applefest at Hazelbank Park will celebrate the restoration of the old traditional orchard park.

Anyone who comes along will be invited to pick apples and pears from the orchard and a chef will be on hand to cook your own apple tart, apple pancakes and apple stew.

Find out why orchards are important for wildlife and the important role bees play in pollination — and have fun in apple-themed art activities. Those who remember apple picking in their younger days are encouraged to come along to share their orchard memories, traditional skills and stories with the younger generation.

Speaking about the event, the council’s biodiversity officer, Maurice Tully, commented: “So far the orchard has been revitalised by removing vegetation that was encroaching on the apple trees.

“We have been encouraging local people with memories of the orchard and local area to share them with us and we have been celebrating the apple blossom with a local school, with grafting workshops and are planning to have talks in the near future. On the 25th we hope to get lots of people along to celebrate the fruit harvest and join in some great fun apple-themed activities.”

There will also be an opportunity to taste, learn and talk about different varieties of apple. The council is working on the project with Spouncer Ecology to restore and celebrate the old traditional orchard and hopes in the future to plant more replacement trees.

The event is free and booking is not required, just come along at any stage from 11am to 2pm during the event. The orchard in located on the slopes that lead from to the shore from the car park. For further details of the event or to share your memories contact Maurice Turley, biodiversity officer, Newtownabbey Borough Council mturley@newtownabbey.gov.uk or phone 028 9034 0069.


Harvest weekend

Belfast City Mission on the Shore Road

(Shore Crescent) will be hosting a special Harvest weekend on Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26.

On Saturday, a night of praise with the Emmanuel singers begins at 7.30pm. Supper will be provided,

On Sunday, starting at 7pm, there will be a Gospel meeting with special signers and guest speaker. Everyone is welcome to attend both events.


Open university comes to Belfast

The Open University in Ireland is giving you the opportunity to access information about its courses, qualifications and world-leading study approach at an information and advice desk in Belfast Central Library tomorrow, between 6pm and 8pm.

Offering over 570 inspirational courses, The Open University provides high-quality university education to all — ranging from certificates, diplomas, degrees and professional qualifications.

The Open University provides flexible support, tailored to the needs of the individual student and their area of study and no formal qualifications are necessary for most undergraduate courses.

John Addy, The Open University in Ireland’s acting director, said: “We hope people take this opportunity to come and find out more about how our flexible method of learning could help them improve their skills and career options.”

For further information all 028 9024 5025, or log on to www.open.ac.uk

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