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FOGRA - A HAPPY ENDING

There was a wee grey toy rabbit lost during Sundays parade. It was lost around the Charlemount area. It is a childs' comforter  . If anyone knows anything about this can the get in touch. 07759949314.

In a follow up to this story, there is a happy ending. The grey rabbit was handed in at the Shambles Yard were the council had organised a family day. A council worker took it to lost and found and when she seen our social media posts contacted the consortium. We are pleased to say that rabbit and child have been reunited, much to the relief of the child's parents, who said  that 'it restores you faith in human nature when your realised that someone made the effort to return the toy'   

End Of Carnival Party

Polish Party

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.

Polish Party at Sherrys

 

ST.PATRICKS DAY PARADE CONFIRMED

images/2019/Saint-Patricks-Day-17-March-The steering group organising the St.Patricks Day parade have confirmed start times and route for the parade. The parade will assemble on the CBS all weather pitch at Greenpark at 2.00pm.It will be a 2.30pm start and the parade will make its way on the Keady Road to Irish Street Corner. Making its way down Ogle St- Thomas St-Market St- English St to the Shambles and along the Cathedral Road where it will disperse at Sherry Sports Complex. There has been a great interest shown by the community in the parade with local sports clubs , community based projects and local businesses contributing and participating. The organisers have stressed that this will be an inclusive parade something that was stressed in their press release. Responding to an article released  by Cllr. Jim Speers the groups spokesperson Stephen Fields responded saying:

“Cllr Jim Speers call for a united St. Patricks Day Parade does little to resolve the issue that Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council (ABC council) has created. Unity is perhaps something that he should have brought to the attention on the council before it decided to move the St. Patricks Day parade to a different date. In a lengthy statement Cllr. Speers completely ignores the genuine frustration felt by a sizable section of the community. He places the onus on the organisers of the community-based St. Patricks’ Day parade to get in behind the council while at the same time absolving the council of any fault in this debacle. But to give credit were credit is due at least Cllr. Speers has given some response. The council that he is so passionately defending, has yet to reply to a request by the West Armagh Consortium, sent in the form of a letter to its chief executive asking a number of relevant questions.

So perhaps given his claim to have passionately outlined his view during the delivery of the report to the council that presumably was the basis of the councils’ decision perhaps Cllr, Speers could answer some of the questions posed.

  • How were the recommendations contained within this report arrived at?
  • Reports indicate that there was a consultation carried out. How inclusive was this consultation?
  • What was the questions asked?
  • What was the rationale used to justify the consultation in the first place?
  • Who in council initially proposed the change of date?
  • How many groups/ individuals were consulted and what was their responses?

Could Cllr. Speers shed some light on other points, some that relate to comments from some of his unionist colleagues on ABC Council?

Read more ...

SPOTLIGHT ON INTERGENERATIONAL PROGRAMME

Below in a link to a short video of an intergenerationl programme that is a joint project between WAC and Spotlight Dance Studio based at the Shambles. It shows the first of four visits to residential care homes in Armagh during which young members of the dance group put on a wee show for elderly residents. Well done to Joanne and her dancers. The video speaks volumes, the interaction between the young dancers and the residents says it all. 

https://www.facebook.com/joanne.mullen.10/videos/2239387952779644/

 

 

SUCCESSFUL DAY ON THE BANKS OF THE CALLAN RIVER

There was a great turnout for the litter pick along the banks of the Callan River on Saturday. Organised by Friends Of The Callan River, the  entire exercise had a much improving effect of the rivers environment. Pasted below is a link to a video made by one of the team ,Mr. John Nixon. Copy and paste it into your search bar and the link will take you to the video.

You know the old saying- a picture paints a thousand words. Congratulations to all involved it was true community spirited event and deserving of all our support.   

https://vimeo.com/316403677

 

LOCAL CHILDREN ARE TARGETED BY VANDALS.

Broken glass at sherrys field childrens play park
Some of the glass placed on childrens' play equipment

The West Armagh Consortium is calling on the youths responsible for the deliberate targeting of children’s play equipment to consider the danger that they are putting young children in. It follows several incidents when bottles were smashed in and on play equipment in the children’s play park at Sherry Field Sports Complex.

Speaking for the West Armagh Consortium, Stephen Fields said, “It is clear from the number of times that this has happened and where the bottles have been smashed that it is not the actions of some fling it away vandals. The play equipment itself appears to be the target with glass being deliberated broken in and around as well as on top of equipment. In some cases, this glass appears to be strategically placed where young children would be playing in what can only be assumed is an effort to inflict as must hurt as possible on unsuspecting children. We have pictures of bottles having been broken and placed at the top and bottom of slides.

“These are deplorable acts and even go beyond the wanted destruction of community facilities. The individuals involved in this are deliberating targeting young children. This is an obvious conclusion considering where they are breaking the bottles and, in some cases where the glass is being deliberately placed.

“Thankfully no child has been injured by these acts. The result has been that the park has had to remain closed on several occasions while council staff clean up the glass.

“As community representatives, we would urge these young people to stop this very dangerous and destructive behaviour. We would urge anyone seeing this behaviour to report it to the police, their local community representatives, or both. All it takes is a sliver of glass to remain on a piece of equipment that a child is playing on for them to suffer a very serious cut. And before anyone turns a blind eye, remember that child could be yours.”

Physical Acivity Programme

We all know that a persons health and well being has a number of factors; diet, positive mental attitude and physical fitness are but some of the ingredients that go into attaining a healthy lifestyle. The consortium will be delivering a physical exercise programme starting on Monday October 29th and running up until Christmas week. The classes that will take place at a local gym (Performance Centre on the Nursery Road) will be tailored to an individuals physical abilities and will consist of three one-hour gym classes held on Mon-Wed and Fri evening.  All the details are contained in the leaflet printed below. The charge of £25 is, as the leaflets points out fully refundable based on attendance of the course. Previous fitness classes have enjoyed a varying level of support which has resulted in people having been turned away at the start of the course only for it to emerge that places signed up for were not filled. The easiest way for anyone interested in signing up for this free series of gym sessions, is to use the usual contact details for the consortium. Alternatively, you can sign up via your local community representative.

Fitness classes at local gym 

Local Charities Benefit From Festival Run

Presentation Event
Deputy Lord Mayor of ACBC, Cllr, Paul Duffy pictured with those attending the presentation evening.

 

Two local charities were presented with an equal share of the money raised at the sponsored run/walk held on August 10th as part of the West Armagh Community Festival. The event raised £4,220.Lisanally Special Needs School and Armagh Breast Cancer Support Group each received £2,110 at the night organised by the Lord Mayors Office at which the Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr, Paul Duffy made the presentations and congratulated the festival committee on delivering such a successful event.

There was a special presentation to Jack Rolston who attends Lisanally School. Together with his family ,Jack raised well is excess of £600 and in recognition of this fantastic achievement the festival committee presented Jack with a Harry Potter rucksack and wand. Needless to say there was a plethora of spells cast for the rest of the evening by the young wizard himself.

The event was attended by community volunteers, local politicians and representatives of the two charities.The committees sponsored run organiser Mr. John Fields thanked everyone for all their efforts in the organising and participation in the run. He also thanked  the local council who allowed the run to take place in the Palace Grounds. He added that it was particularly heartening to see the money raised being put to such good use.

ONLINE SCAMMERS TARGETTING GROUPS

Following an attempted online scam received by the WAC this morning we would urge people to be vigilant as in a previous instance the scammers targeted people in the locale. It is not clear whether or not the scammers operate on a geographical grid, going through area codes but previously there was a number of individuals targeted within a local area. The scam is similar to the previous one except they are purporting to come from Microsoft this time and not BT. However the result will be the same. You will informed that scammers are:

*Slowing down your computer/laptop.

*If not already on,turn on your machine.

*You cannot see what is going on in the background because they are hiding their activity.

*To see what they are doing, press the windows key and R and it opens up a box bottom left hand corner.

*Then you'll be instructed to insert a lettered code. This allows them to install a programme onto your computer and once that's activated, you have lost control of your computer. You screen will go blank at least at your end but allowing them to access  your files. From there on in it will be a matter of them stalling you with false information and bogus commands with the sole aim of gaining access to your banking details.

If you received such a call do not comply with it. Simply hang up. Genuine service providers do not contact their customers in this manner. Even if you are suspicious do not try to confirm with a number or email address that the caller may give. Go to the service providers verified online site and follow their respective contact procedures and details.   

Presentation Reception At Palace For Local Charities

The Deputy Lord Mayor of Armagh City Banbridge Craigavon Council, Cllr Paul Duffy, has invited members of the West Armagh Community Festival Committee to a reception in the Lord Mayor's Parlour on 26th September. Representatives of the local charities due to receive a share of the monies raised through the sponsored run/walk held as part of the West Armagh Community Festival in August, have also been invited.

Lisanally Special School and the Armagh Breast Cancer Awareness Group will benefit from the funds raised through the run/walk which was very well supported. Several hundred runners and walkers took part in the event that was held in the Palace grounds on August 10th 

Committee members wishing to attend need to confirm their attendance.

Could you help someone with dementia to keep doing the things they love?

        

 

 

Could you help someone with dementia to keep doing the things they love?

 Side by Side volunteers support people living with dementia in the local community.  This involves companionship for a person in the early stages of dementia helping them to take part in social and recreational activities, providing one-to-one support to enable people with dementia to continue with their hobbies and interests or engage in new ones. 

This would be for a few hours every week or fortnight in the Armagh, Banbridge or Craigavon areas.

We are currently seeking people with these interests:

-        Golf                 - Gardening                - Cycling                     - Baking

-        Cricket            - Farming                    - Knitting                    - Walking

 Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about this or any of our volunteering opportunities please contact Rosario Mc Hugh, Volunteering Officer (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. /028 71 384570) or visit our website at www.alzheimers.org.uk.

 

Festival Organisers Reply To Criticism

In light of the media coverage of the West Armagh Community Festival and attacks upon it by some Unionist politicians ,the organisers have issued the following statement.

"The West Armagh Community Festival has been in operation for over 20 years and in that time has been officially opened by Mayors and Lord Mayors from ALL parties within Armagh City and District Council (ACDC). The events that appear to be causing upset to members of the unionist parties have been part and parcel of the Festival since its early days, so why are unionist politicians up in arms now, considering that they participated in its official opening over the years and witnessed some of the events in question.

"Indeed, we have the current Lord Mayor officiating at our sponsored run/walk tomorrow night in the Palace Grounds. The monies raised at this will benefit two local charities, Lisanally Special School and Armagh Breast Cancer Support Group.

"The Festival was deliberately timed to coincide with what used to be a very volatile time of year, particularly within the nationalist community. The Festival organisers used the Festival to redivert energies. By and large this has been a great success insofar that here in Armagh the anniversary of Internment now passes off without any unrest and anti-social behaviour as had been the norm.

"The events in the Festival are named after people who are significant to the community in Armagh, who died either as part of the conflict or had respected standing within the community. There are over 10 events named after local people, not all who died violently.

"We are currently involved in a very busy Festival with a full schedule of multi-cultural events and cross community activities geared to everyone in the community. We hope this statement will suffice. If there are any further queries we will gladly respond to them after the Festival is completed."

 

 

New Volunteering Opportunities

Armagh Travellers Support Group (ASTG) is seeking new Directors (Trustees) to join our Management Board.  This is a great opportunity to make a difference to an organisation committed the improving the quality of life of the Traveller Community living in Armagh.  You will be part of a voluntary team supporting the governance of an organisation delivering a range of supports and community services to families and young people.  We are looking for individuals with a background in the private, public, voluntary or community sectors with an interest in social justice issues who can contribute to the leadership and governance of the Organisation.  If you feel you have skills and qualities that could help, ATSG would welcome your involvement. We currently meet on a monthly basis. For further information, or to submit letter of interest, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tel 028 3751 7531 by Friday 24th August.

 

FESTIVAL GETS UNDER WAY

The West Armagh Community Festival is in full swing having started off on Monday with the children's summer camp. 5 days of fun and games for 7 -11 years olds that will include a number of trips.

Marie Smyth Ladies Road Bowls 2018
Marie Smyth Ladies Road Bowls 2018

Monday evening also saw the start of the evening events with the Maire Smyth Ladies Road Bowls Challenge that took place on the Drumcairn Road. There is a definitely ladies theme to this years festival so it was fitting to start of with this competition.
Tuesday and the summer camp as out at the Navan Fort for the Eco Trail and Warrior Trail. That evening we had the McElvanna/ Mallon U-10 camogie match between St.Brigids and Madden. Madden were victorious so congratulations to them.
That was closely followed by the Máiréad Farrell Challenge between Pearse Ogs Ladies and Edendork Ladies. Edendork proved too strong for the city team and it congratulations to them.

FUN DAYS AROUND THE TOWN

Callanbridge Fun Day
Callanbridge Fun Day
Mullacreevie Fun Day
Mullacreevie Fun Day


Above is a number of snaps capturing fun days held by two areas in the town last Thursday. Callanbridge and Mullacreevie held days in their respective park areas and were blessed with the continuing good weather. Bouncy castles ,face painting, dancing and treats were the order if the day. Well done to both community groups for organising the events.

As part of their day Callanbridge also officially unveiled a bench dedicated to the memory of Ann Loughlin a long standing member of the group who sadly passed away recently.

In memory of Ann Loughran
In Memory of Ann Loughran
In memory of Ann Loughlin
 For more pictures follow READ MORE

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The Parks Experience

As previously covered, The Armagh Parks Experience began on Saturday 26th May.
It  a slight change to the format  previously use in the 7 Hills Challenge in that this event takes place over five sessions taking in parks in and around Armagh.  It started off with the Demesne on Saturday 26th and the second park walk, this time at the  Navan, took place last Saturday 2nd June. Below are some pictures of the walkers. There are still three parks to go.

The Parks Experience
READY FOR THE OFF FOR THE DEMESNE 
A NICE STROLL AROUND THE NAVAN
A NICE STROLL AROUND THE NAVAN

 

3rd OUTING.A DANDER AROUND LOUGHALL PARK
GOSFORD FOREST PARK WAS THE SETTING FOR THE 4th 7 HILLS CHALLENGE PARKS WALK

 

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NEW COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT MANAGER APPOINTED

Stephen Fields Community Development Manager
Stephen Fields the WAC's Community Development Manager

The West Armagh Consortium has appointed Stephen Fields as their Community Development Programme Manager. The post formed a substantial part of the consortiums successful application to the Big Lottery. The consortium were successful acquiring nearly £200,000 for a three year programme under the Big Lottery Peoples and Communities Programme.

Stephen has now taken up the post and will be based in the consortiums offices at Sherry Fields Sports Complex. The WAC Chairperson Fiona Kelly welcomed the appointment saying " The West Armagh Consortium have for many years now strived to get a full-time resource in place at Sherry’s. I am confident that local community groups and the community in general will be able to benefit from this appointment. 

The programme under which Stephen has been appointed also has programme costs and I know that he has already been in contact with local community groups to consult on a beneficial action plan, a plan that will take the needs of groups into account. I would like to wish Stephen all the best in his new role."

 

The programme is a three year one running until 2021 and will encompass many aspects of community activities in the west of the city. Although based in Sherry’s Sports Complex, aspects of the programme will be delivered in the various community venues throughout the city. It is envisaged to utilise the network of community houses that were set up under the NRPB programme. 

CHALLENGING YOUR CONDITION COURSE

The following course is a free course designed to help people living with along term medical condition. It is free but anyone wishing to avail of it should use the contact details to confirm. It consists of six 2.5 hour sessions. 

The Challenging Your Condition Course is a supportive group where everyone shares helpful tips and experiences.  The course leaders have a Long Term Condition themselves and understand the difficulties participants face.  They refuse to let symptoms take control of their lives and can support you to manage yours.  The emphasis is on learning what you can do for yourself and how to make the most of the information you get from doctors, nurses and other health care workers.  Its for people living with a Chronic Long Term Condition ( Epilepsy, MS, Parkinson’s, arthritis etc)  even if newly diagnosed.

These courses are for persons over 18 years.

To find out more about these FREE courses and secure a place please contact the office on 028 9078 2940 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Further information can be found on our website https://arthritiscare.org.uk/our-services-and-support/events/filter:Courses%20and%20Workshops

 

 

UNIVERSAL CREDITS- WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?

invites you to an information session on Universal Credit... 


“WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME?”

 

How long will I have to wait for my money?

I have attended previous Universal Credit sessions...should I attend another?

What information can I pass onto members of my community?

If I move house, how will it affect me?

 

If you have asked yourself any of the above or you have questions of your own around Universal Credit, join us at this community focused session!


DATE: Wednesday 14th March 2018
TIME: Registration and Refreshments at 10.00 am


VENUE: Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
RSVP to Siobhán NOW and state any lunch re
quirements

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone or text: 07974 263686


I have attended previous Universal Credit sessions...should I attend another?

Funded by the Housing Executive Community Grant Fund with assistance from Supporting Communities

 

                                                         

 

 

                                 

BUILDING ACTIVE COMMUNITIES

Any community representatives  interested in this conference the registration deadline is Wednesday 7th March.

Contact the consortium 07759949314 if you are interested in attending and we can get you details registered 

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR

 

The Palace Demesne On a Spring Morning
A Picturesque View The Palace Demesne. But Remember Your Elderly/Vulnerable Neighbours.
In light of the current cold snap several community groups in the city have urged people to be conscious of their neighbours especially the elderly or vulnerable. People have been urged to call on elderly neighbours to see how they are? Do they need anything and generally to just to say hello. The West Armagh Consortium would echo those calls and in view of the current cold snap such a good neighbourly action could make all the difference to an elderly or vulnerable person. It can be reassuring for the person involved simply to know that someone has taken the time to call and check after their well being. It does not require a huge effort on someone's part to do so and it shows a good sense of community spirit. A community spirit that demonstrates the difference between a community living together and looking out for each other and a collection of people who just happen to live in the same area.

 

DEFIBRILLATOR TRAINING AT CONSORTIUM OFFICES

1st Session of defibrillator at sherries

Pictured above are some of the volunteers that availed of the recent defibrillator training that the West Armagh Consortium delivered on Saturday 3rd February. There was two sessions consisting of classes of 8 persons. These classes are part of the ongoing training programme in the use of AEDs that began with the provision of defibrillators for community houses located within the neighbourhood renewal area. This is the third year that community volunteers been trained up in the use of these life saving devices. This training provides an ever increasing pool of community volunteers capable of using the machines that are located  in several estates in the town.

2nd sesion of defibrillator training at sherries

BT FRAUD ALERT

 ***BT fraud alert****
The West Armagh Consortium are currently investigating a Scam in which it was a victim and had a substantial amount of money fraudulently taken from its bank account, the money taken was earmarked for future programmes that local communities would benefit from.
The scam involved somebody phoning the Consortium offices claiming to be from BT. They informed the organisation that BT were carrying out maintenance on its lines and requested a member of the organisation to carry out a number of instructions that allowed remote access to the office computer and subsequently recorded the organisations bank details.
The Consortium are currently assisting the Police, and the bank involved with their enquiries.
The West Armagh Consortium would ask local people, organisations and businesses to be vigilant when receiving calls similar to this and do not complete any transactions via phone or computer/tablet. If people are phoning you and looking for you to carry out instructions relating to your phone, computer/tablet, bank or ask for any personal details.....hang up. Think fraud, these details may allow scammers to gain remote access to your computer and bank

Please share this information with family and friends who may not have access to Social media.

Polish Cookery Classes in Callanbridge

Polish Cookery Classes in Callanbridge
Swinging a mean rolling pin.

Callanbridge Park and Legar Hill Residents Association held a successful series of cookery classes hosted by members of the Polish community. An enjoyable time was had by all especially at the tasting sessions. 

Polish Cookery Classes in Callanbridge

Read more ...

Pictured At The Pensioners Christmas Party

Pictured at Pensioners Party WAC/Pears Ogs

Pictured at the pensioners Christmas party held in the Pearse Ogs Social Club on Friday 15th December. The party was a joint venture with the Pearse Ogs and West Armagh Consortium. Transport was laid on to accommodate pensioners from all over the town and the event was attended by pensioners from many areas of the town. It was a night of varied entertainment with live music, renditions from the Bard of Armagh, Irish dancing  and numerous raffles and spot prizes. Enough to say , no one went home empty handed. As local community representatives  were made aware we replaced the grant annually given to groups to help with pensioner Christmas events  with this party. We are hoping to build on this for next year and many thanks to the Pearse Ogs who facilitated the party and allowed us to use their annual party to include a wider area.

Pensioners Party Pearse Ogs /WAC

A proud Harry McGeough pictured with his grandchildren who gave a fantastic display of Irish dancing at the party.

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Walkers will complete 7 Hills Walks this Saturday

Armagh Skyline

The 7 Hills Walk Challenge that started in October draws to a close this Saturday. The mythical 7 hills of Armagh will be the course for the final walk and the walkers have been steadily building up the distances covered since the challenge started on the tenth of October.Congratulations to all who took part and it has been noted that several walkers have taken up walking outside the challenge.The Consortium will be revisiting the subject in the new year and it is hoped that we can build on the fantastic work that has already been done. The Consortium would like to thank Mr.John Fields who took on the mantle of guide and instructor. The walk will finish with a meal in the appropriately named Seven Hills Café

PENSIONERS CHRISTMAS PARTY

Merry Christmas Armagh
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE WEST ARMAGH CONSORTIUM

The West Armagh Consortium has joined forces with the Pearse Og Social Club to host a Christmas party for pensioners in the town. The party will take place in the Pearse Og Social Club on Friday 15th December at 8.00pm. There will be live music, food and craic as well as numerous  spot prizes. Transport will be provided  too and from the party if needed. Could community reps draw up list of pensioners from their who wish to attend. Alternatively any pensioner reading this who wants to attend can simply contact their local community rep or phone 07759949314. This will facilitate collection points and times.

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