Welcome to the West Armagh Consortium's website. We hope that you will find this both interesting and informative. We would like to take this opportunity to give the reader some background to us.
The West Armagh Consortium (WAC) was constituted in November 2002 as a voluntary amalgamation of local community groups from Armagh City West. As a non-sectarian and politically unaffiliated umbrella organisation, the Consortium welcomes affiliations from all new and existing community and voluntary groups in our catchment area. The groups currently affiliated represent districts within the three electoral wards of Abbey Park, Callanbridge and Downs.
With continued pressure right across the health and social care system, we ask for your support in promoting our ‘Phone First’ service.
We appeal to anyone with urgent but not life threatening symptoms to please ‘Phone First’ before attending our Emergency Departments or minor injuries services.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm Tel: 0300 123 3 111
The team will help you get the most suitable advice or service as quickly as possible.
For more information click https://www.google.com/url?q=https://southerntrust.hscni.net/get-in-touch/out-of-hours-and-emergency-contacts/phone-first-2/&source=gmail&ust=1631801998825000&usg=AFQjCNGCYJnpXBbecgVjPvxZohe-9JYJQg">here
The West Armagh Consortum will be delivering yoga classes for long term pain sufferers in the WAC Healthy Living Centre, Sherrys Field Recreational Centre. Start time is 11.00am the class will speacilaise in chair yoga and unlike previous classes we have not set a cut off date and hope to keep the classes going for as long as required by participants. There will be a small charge of £2 for these classes and they are open to both men and women. There are still spaces available for the class. Contact Nora at WAC office or Stephen on 07759949314
Two charities benefited from the West Armagh Community Festival's fun raising venture that saw a number of hardy community activists climb Slieve Donard to hold a poc fada.£3,173.58 was raised and was divided evenly betwen the Lord Mayors Charity Fund and Lisanally Special School. Stephen Fields from West Armagh Consortium presented one of the cheques to the Lord Mayor Cllr, Mealla Campbell while John Fields presented the other cheque for Lisanally Special School to Eileen McCann.
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What is Social Prescribing? It is a communinty approach to health and well being.SPRING is the Healthy Living Alliances' Social Prescribing Programme being delivered through its network of Healthy Living Centres.The West Armagh Consortium Healthy Living Centre,based at Sherrys Sports Complex is part of that network and where our local SPRING social prescriber is based.
The West Armagh Cosortium will be offering a free counselling service starting in early January. Counselling covers a wide range of issues and by its very nature is tailored to the clients individual needs.The service will be strictly managed in line with recognised and approved proceedures and protocols.Details of this srvice are contained within the poster below. Contact Emma to book an appointment.
We are indebted to Martin McCann for the video monatge of the St.Patricks Day Parade.Please follow the link below.
The streets of Armagh were thronged with people who came out to enjoy the community parade organised in response to the ABC Councils decision to change its own St. Patricks Day Procession. Lead by a flag party consisting to 25 national flags and walking behind the St. Patricks Flag, the parade made it way through the streets for its finishing point at Sherry Field Sports Complex. Even the odd shower of rain couldn't dampen people’s spirits who can out in their droves to both spectate and walk in the parade.
The organisers have thanked everyone who helped out with the organising of the parade and the many individuals and business who donated money that was used put the parade over. Speaking on behalf of the organising group, Stephen Fields said “The response to the news that the council had changed the St. Patricks Day parade has been phenomenal. The community stepped up to the plate and came out in force. This was very evident in both the turnout and the volunteers who helped out in every way. This included the making of flags/bunting, the donations of materials, the stewards, messages of support and willingness to be involved. Due to the complete lack of consultation on the part of the council (council has still not responded to our initial letter), we only had just over 4 weeks to organise this parade and it could not have been done without this support. A big thank you to all and all credit is due to the community.
“Sundays parade was an example of inclusiveness. We sought to include as many as possible and to do so in a festive and community spirited manner. Numerous people have thanked WAC and the organising group for putting on the parade, but the real thanks goes to the people who by their actions over the weekend completely vindicated our decision to go ahead and organised the parade in response to the council’s disgraceful decision to change the day.”
It has been described as one of the biggest and colourful parades in years going back to the time when the community used to organise monster parades through the town. Those parades were at a time when the council hardly recognised St. Patricks Day but eventually through constant pressure from local representatives the council began to take the day onboard. However, that has not been a smooth journey, they have almost been dragged kicking and screaming to the conclusion that as a public body they should be supportive of everybody's expressions of culture and views. Nevertheless and even to this day, they have sought to mitigate against the parade and any sense of Irishness . Their choice in bunting omits the recognised colours of green and white. They have a lengthy list of pre-conditions for those wanting to take part in the parade , so much so, that in recent years there has been very little community buy in. This in turn has forced the council to rely more and more on professional street performers. While such acts are very colourful, they alone cannot command the support and widespread community participation.
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It was smiley faces all round at the childrens' party held in Sherrys recently marking the end of Carnival . The party was organised by our local polish group POLACY to mark the end of Carnival which is a pre-Lenten event. Such events are traditional in many countries and there are many similarities in how this time is marked.
The Polish Carnival season includes Fat Thursday (Tłusty Czwartek), when pączki (doughnuts) are eaten, and Śledzik (Shrove Tuesday) or Herring Day. The Tuesday before the start of Lent is also often called Ostatki (literally "leftovers"), meaning the last day to party before the Lenten season.
The traditional way to celebrate Carnival is the kulig, a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered countryside. In modern times, Carnival is increasingly seen as an excuse for intensive partying. As can be seen from our pictures,everyone certainly enjoyed the event.
Registered with The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland NIC100377