NWCN E-bulletin 17 August 2017


1 Celebrate the Sector with NWCN - Save the Dates!

2 Nominate Now for the Chance to Win £1000 for your Board! 

3 Save The Date: Rape Clause Protest

4 Employment Life-cycle Training Series

5 Sector Skills Support - Upcoming Awareness Sessions

6 Training & Development Opportunities with CLEAR Project

7 Visual Awareness Training with RNIB

8 TOUR DE FOYLE 1080: Community Challenge

9 REACH Across - Up The Foyle In A Bubble Fun Day

10 Latest Offers from Salto Youth 

11  ‘MARKET PLACE’ Celebrating 30 Years of Erasmus+ & International Youth Work Practice

12 Job Opportunities with Holywell Trust

13 Job Opportunity with The Waypoint Project

14 Did you know that there are many ways that you can volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society? 

15 Ever thought about a career in Water Sports?

16 Electricity and Water services - The Consumer Council needs your help

17 Community Survey

18 Get Into Retail with Marks & Spencer

19 Let's make ‘birdwoman - a short film set in Derry’ happen

20 Derry Greyhound Walk

21 Brian Friel International Festival returns to Derry & Donegal 

22 Heritage event celebrates 20 years of success

23 Pack up your troubles, and your summer picnic, and smile








1 Celebrate the Sector with NWCN - Save the Dates!


North West Community Network Celebration Events

  • Friday 15th September
  • Thursday 21st September
  • Thursday 5th October

North West Community Network are organising three Celebration/Master class events starting with a hot hearty breakfast at 9:30am and finishing at 12 noon.
You will have the opportunity to hear about successful and inspirational initiatives within three themes:

  • Children & Young People
  • Sport & Leisure
  • Rural Inclusion

As well as a chance to hear from local groups and inspirational speakers you will also have the chance to network and make some new connections!


Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries: 

info@nwcn.org / 028 7127 9090 / www.nwcn.org


More information to follow soon...         


2 Nominate Now for the Chance to Win £1000 for your Board! 


The VSB Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the 2017 Leadership and Good Governance Award for Northern Ireland. Delivered in partnership with CO3, Volunteer Now and the Developing Governance Group, the Good Governance Awards will shine a light on the amazing work that Trustees and Boards do.

This is your opportunity to raise the profile of your board and be awarded £1000 to further invest into your governance development.

Closing date for entries is Friday 8 September 2017.
For more information
visit the CO3 website or contact Sarah Boyd by email sarah@co3.bz or on 028 9024 5356. 


3   Save The Date: Rape Clause Protest


Date: Thursday 21st September
Time: Lunchtime
Venue: Belfast City Centre, TBC


Reclaim the Agenda invites you to join us to protest the abhorrent 'rape clause' and the 2-child tax credit cap. We would like you to join us in voicing our disgust at this inhumane policy.

More details to follow.


For more info on the rape clause and 2-child limit, and why we are opposing it in Northern Ireland, go to: http://www.womensaidni.org/assets/uploads/2017/05/opposing-the-two-child-cap-and-rape-clause.pdf 


4 Employment Life-cycle Training Series


NICVA and social enterprise Sector Matters, are delighted to offer this popular Employment Life-cycle series of training again this year. The four training sessions guide you through the critical elements of the employment relationship and will help build your confidence, knowledge and skills to enable you to deal effectively with people issues at work.


The seminars are aimed at new line managers or Board members with responsibility for managing staff or those with more experience wishing to refresh their knowledge. There are 3 morning seminars and 1 full day in total taking learners from Recruitment to Managing Discipline and Grievance issues and all essential areas in between. You can book all or as many of the sessions as you like. Click on the sessions below for full details ad to book your place.

The sessions are tailored specifically for voluntary and community organisations.


5 Sector Skills Support - Upcoming Awareness Sessions


Inspiring Impact NI and Community Evaluation NI, in conjunction with the Charity Commission NI are scheduling a series of awareness sessions on Good Impact Practice & the Public Benefit Requirement.

Your impact is the reason you exist as a charity. Under the Charity Commission NI’s public benefit requirement, all charities are required to make a public benefit statement and report annually against this.  Impact Practice can help you join the dots between this and other reporting requirements.

These workshops will look at how good impact practice helps you make sure your own goals remain at the centre of monitoring & reporting to stakeholders, funders & the Charity Commission NI.

They will be approx 2hrs, practical and interactive.  The sessions are free but you will need to register / book your space. See confirmed dates & venues below and watch out for additional venues in the coming weeks. If you would like to host a session in your area do get in touch and we can try to accommodate.

The sessions are designed for directors, coordinators, trustees and practitioners of independent voluntary & community organisations and charities





26 September

Fermanagh House, Enniskillen

10.30am – 12.30pm

27 September

Holywell Trust, Derry

11.00am – 1.00pm

28 September

PIPS Training Room, Newry

10.30am – 12.30pm

09 October

Craigavon Civic Centre – Lakeview 2

7.00 – 9.00pm

11 October

RCN Training Room, Cookstown

10.30am – 12.30pm

19 October

CO3, Shaftesbury Sq, Belfast(for Charity Trustees)

5.30 – 7.00pm

25 October

NICVA Conference Room B, Belfast

10.00am – 12.00am


Book now: eventbriteCENI          
By e-mail:
aongus@ceni.org or phone: 028 9024 8005


6 Training & Development Opportunities with CLEAR Project


CLEAR offers a range of development and capacity building training & development opportunities to community and voluntary organisations who operate in the West of the province.  There is a minimum age requirement on all CLEAR training please contact for more details.  

Current Programmes Include:

Training Brochure: September - December 2017


For further information see http://www.dhcni.com/training.html


 7 Visual Awareness Training with RNIB

RNIB Accessibility Training
Date:      Monday 21st August 2017
Time:      11.00am to 1.00pm
Venue:   RNIB, 1st Floor Embassy Building
This session is open to anyone. It offers the opportunity to find out more about different types of eye conditions.
Topics include how to communicate effectively with a blind or partially sighted person and how to guide someone with little or no vision. Participants can try on glasses representing various eye conditions. This is a free session, booking in advance is essential as space is limited.

Contact Annmarie on 07864 067649 or Bernie on 028 71229551


8 TOUR DE FOYLE 1080: Community Challenge


Church leaders invite public to join them on the Tour de Foyle 1080
The countdown is on as leaders of the city’s four main churches invite people to get on their bikes or put on their walking/running shoes for the Tour de Foyle 1080 Charity Event, which will begin at the Foyle Arena on Saturday 26th August.

The event is being organised jointly by The Churches Trust and the North West Methodist Mission, and is supported by church leaders in Derry-Londonderry.  Now in its fourth year, the event has attracted participants from far and wide, and organisers hope this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever.

The event caters for all with three aspects to choose from: 10k Walk: 10k Run: 80k Cycle 
Registration details for the walk/run/cycle can be found on the website: 
www.tourdefoyle.co.uk.  So book early to avoid disappointment. 


 REACH Across - Up The Foyle In A Bubble Fun Day


Sunday 17th September At Prehen pitches. 


Cross-Community Youth Group REACH Across are organising a Family Fun Day and Water Zorbing Challenge on Sun 17th Sept at Prehen Pitches.


Teams Of 4 are needed for the Water-Zorbing Challenge, with a prize for the school, company, sports club or community group, that achieves the highest rotations. Sponsor forms are available.


Our Fun Day Area will Include a mini-farm, inflatable slides, disco dome, laser quest, soft play area, drumming sessions etc and there will also be bring & buy tables available and a competition area. 


Entries are now being taken for the Water Zorbing Challenge and the cost is £60 per team. Admission to the Fun Day is £2 or £5 for a family of 3 or more. For more information, check the REACH Across Facebook page or tel/text 07854833371 


10 Latest Offers from Salto Youth 


VolunTour: Better Environment – Better Tomorrow
The Study Visit is a test of a new format of international mobility - the VolunTour - organized by youth NGOs, which mix responsible tourism, volunteering and meeting with stakeholders on the theme of environment and waste management.
Organizer: Joint Association (NGO/Others)
This activity is for participants from: Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries, Partner Countries Neighbouring the EU
Application deadline (24h CET): 8 September 2017

› More details

Evidence-based policy in Erasmus+ Seminar on research and methodology
The seminar is addressed to researchers in education, NA-related researchers in the fields addressed by NA support schemes, policy makers in education, representatives of organizations engaged in support schemes in the education sector.
Organizer: FRSE, Polish National Agency of Erasmus+ (National Agency)
This activity is for participants from: Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries
Application deadline (24h CET): 10 September 2017

› More details

Evidence-based policy in Erasmus+ Seminar on research and methodology
The seminar is addressed to researchers in education, NA-related researchers in the fields addressed by NA support schemes, policy makers in education, representatives of organizations engaged in support schemes in the education sector.
Organizer: FRSE, Polish National Agency of Erasmus+ (National Agency)
This activity is for participants from: Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries
Application deadline (24h CET): 10 September 2017

› More details

Inspire Contact Improvisation
We aim to introduce Contact Improvisation as an innovative tool to be applied in Youth Work. Exploring physical contact as a key element for inclusion and Improvisation as an embodied source of creativity in our mechanical world.
Organizer: Ara En Moviment (NGO/Others)
This activity is for participants from: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Spain, United Kingdom
Application deadline (24h CET): 11 September 2017

› More details


Star of Europe
“The Star of Europe” training course tackles every phase of a youth exchange project and takes a step-by-step journey through youth participation and partnership by using visual material from the old Finnish game called “The Star of Africa”.
Organizer: Turkish National Agency (NGO/Others)
This activity is for participants from: Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries
Application deadline (24h CET): 12 September 2017

› More details


Strategic Partnerships Plus- Innovation in education
This is a three days event aiming to develop viable cross-sectoral Strategic Partnerships in order to be submitted under Key Action 2. The thematic focus for this year will be Innovation in education.
Organizer: A.N.P.C.D.E.F.P.- Erasmus+ Agency from Romania (National Agency)
This activity is for participants from: Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme countries
Application deadline (24h CET): 2 October 2017

› More details

Event Wise training course
Event Wise is a dynamic personal development training that equips educators in order to support their parallel process into guiding people’s learning.
Organizer: Olde Vechte Foundation (NGO/Others)
This activity is for participants from: Austria, Belgium - DE, Belgium - FL, Belgium - FR, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Application deadline (24h CET): 25 October 2017

› More details


11  ‘MARKET PLACE’ Celebrating 30 Years of Erasmus+ & International Youth Work Practice


Friday 8th December 2017, White Horse Hotel, Campsie, Derry-Londonderry


Funded by the European Commission under ‘Promoting Erasmus+ in the UK 2017 Initiative’

  • Memories or experiences you’d just love to share?
  • Practice you always wanted to exhibit?
  • Ideas that could inspire others?
  • Contacts that would benefit people here?
  • Methodologies that you discovered whilst away?  

LID+ is INVITING YOU to be part of 'Market Place' An interactive celebration event that will not only mark the 30th anniversary of Erasmus+, ’Market Place’ also provides an opportunity for local groups to exhibit and promote models of practice (past and present) that have been developed within and/or for the International Youth Work Sector.


This will be an opportunity for groups from across Northern Ireland that have been involved in International Youth Work over the decades to showcase and promote their work to a wide audience including young people, youth workers, trainers, policy makers, educators and academics.


Whether it has been a youth exchange or job shadow, study visit or EVS, perhaps even a training programme, seminar or conference, if you have been involved in any of these or similar within an international setting, we would like to hear from you. This event is an open invitation to the wider youth work community.


PURPOSE - Demystifying & encouraging participation in Erasmus+

  • Exhibiting models of practice - past & present
  • Sharing information, knowledge and resources
  • Facilitating networking opportunities
  • ‘Selling’ project ideas and concepts


  • ‘Permanent Stalls’
  • ‘One Minute Pitch’
  • Story Telling
  • Interactive Workshops
  • Human Library
  • Celebration 


  • International Youth Work Practitioners & Trainers in attendance
  • Launch of LID+ Impact Report
  • Voice of young people guaranteed
  • ‘Motivational Moments’

Choose a time slot that suits your schedule or all three:



  • 10– 11.30am
  • 12 – 1.30pm
  • 2.30 – 4pm

 Interested? thelidprogramme@hotmail.com



12 Job Opportunities with Holywell Trust


HOLYWELL – DiverseCity Community Partnership, through Holywell Trust as lead partner, welcomes applications for the posts of Receptionist & Casual Support Staff.


For more information and to download the job application pack please visit:

Receptionist - http://www.communityni.org/job/holywell-trust-receptionist…

Casual Support Staff - http://www.communityni.org/job/casual-support-staff-0…


The deadline for completed applications for the opportunities is 2.00pm Wednesday 30th August 2017.


Holywell Trust is registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland - NIC105831


13   Job Opportunity with The Waypoint Project


The Waypoint Project is a new programme at Youthlife for children and young people aged 5-18 years who have experienced bereavement, divorce, separation or loss. The project is supported by BBC Children In Need.


Youthlife is seeking a Project Manager to:


enable and empower a diverse range of young people to effectively contribute to and shape the Waypoint Project, so that it is always directly informed by the lived experiences of children and young people and has maximum impact and reach. This will include recruiting and supporting a diverse group of Peer Mentors who will take part in service delivery, promote the project and contribute to training other young people in the community as Peer Mentors

develop our existing partnerships with statutory agencies and voluntary/ community sector providers to help ensure that children and young people affected by bereavement and loss get the right support from the right person at the right time.


Applicants will be qualified to degree level in Youth Work, Social Work, Counselling/Psychotherapy or Teaching and will have three years paid employment in the past five years in one or more of those professions


The post is funded for three years and is 20 hours per week. The salary is NJC Scale SO1, £26,822, £14,498 pro rata

  • Full details are on 


    Or on the JobCentre online website
    Details are also available on

    Or contact the manager Tricia Kelly  manager@youthlife.org


    Closing Date Monday 28th August 2017 at 4.00pm                                       


    14  Did you know that there are many ways that you can volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society? 


    Be a Volunteer Leader in our Engagement Service in Foyle and support staff and volunteers with the coordination, engagement and organisation of volunteers in recruitment, identification of training needs, and provision of social and peer support. 


    You don’t need experience, but you will need to have the ability to treat others with respect, have good communication and listening skills, be perceptive, and be keen to learn about dementia.



    If you can offer one day per month on an on-going basis (this could be one or two hours a week) then please contact Rosario Mc Hugh, Volunteering Officer (rosario.mchugh@alzheimers.org.uk /028 71 384570) or visit our website at www.alzheimers.org.uk.


    15 Ever thought about a career in Water Sports?


    Are you aged between 18-65, registered as unemployed and living in the Derry City & Strabane District Council area?
    ‘Wet’ your appetite on the River Foyle in conjunction with The Lough’s Agency and experience the river’s potential though education and water sport qualifications whilst improving your employability


    The Maritime programme has 3 elements which incorporates 3 Level 1 qualifications as follows:-

    1. Angling Programme leading to a 1st for Sport Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Angling
    2. Paddlesports/Canoieng programme leading to a RYA Level 1 Certificate in Coaching PaddleSports
    3. Powerboating leading to a PYA Level 1 certificate in Powerboating

    The full programme is delivered over a 5 week period
    Contact: Geraldine Ó hEára at 028 7130 8466 for an application pack
    geraldine.oheara@derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com or check out our website www.derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com


    16 Electricity and Water services - The Consumer Council needs your help


    The Consumer Council is asking for your help to improve electricity and water services for people with vulnerabilities.


    Northern Ireland Electricity Networks and Northern Ireland Water keep Registers of people who can be vulnerable and may need extra help when there is a problem with their supply. These are called Care Registers. People need to register themselves and the extra services provided are free. 


    The Utility Regulator is consulting on the Care Registers. The consultation can be found here. The Consumer Council will be responding to the consultation.


    How can you help?

    To help us represent the views of people with vulnerabilities about these Care Registers I am particularly interested in your views on:

    • Awareness and promotion of the Care Registers – how aware are you or your members of the Registers? How can this be improved? How can the Registers be promoted to reach more of the people who need them?
    • Data sharing – should information contained on the Care Registers be shared securely between NIE and NI Water? Do you have suggestions on how this can be done?
    • Service needs – what services would help you or your members if there was a problem with their electricity or water supply?

    To help, I can offer different ways for you to give me your views:

    A. You can email me with any thoughts or comments or ring me on  Direct Line - 028 9025 1629 (ext. 51629)
    B. Online survey – we have a short online survey. This should take 5 minutes to complete and can be found

    I would really value your views


    17 Community Survey

    Conversations with communities have highlighted the need to increase awareness and discussion around death, dying and bereavement in communities. A regional group of community organisations and organisations specialising in end of life care want to find out your views on this matter to help with the design of future services.

    Please help by completing the one page survey. Thank you.



    18 Get Into Retail with Marks & Spencer

    Are you age 16 -24? Out of employment or training? Meet new people and learn new skills with our free programme!

    • Gain in-depth training in the retail industry by completing 4 weeks work experience with Marks & Spencer.
    • Learn about customer service and selling skills, stock rotation and control.
    • Improve your CV and boost your employability skills!
    • Receive up to 6 months support after the programme to help you find work.
    • Get your travel and lunch provided for the whole programme. 

    Monday 18th September to Friday 13th October 2017
    Taster: Tuesday 12th September

    To find out more contact the Prince’s Trust on 07484901934 or email


    19 Let's make ‘birdwoman - a short film set in Derry’ happen

    This short film is prompted by the real-life story of a Brandywell woman who each day does her rounds in the city feeding the pigeons. 

    Ours is an imagined story where our birdwoman is befriended by a young primary school boy as she feeds birds near his school


    For further details and to pledge your support please see:


    Support us


    Many thanks!


    20 Derry Greyhound Walk


    Sunday 27th August at 2pm

    Meeting at the Foyle Valley Railway Museum, Foyle Road, Derry

    Everyone Welcome!


    The greyhound walk is one of many taking place throughout Ireland in August as part of an initiative by the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust to help get homes for retired greyhounds after their racing career has ended.

    The Brandywell Greyhound Racing Supporter's Group is hosting the Derry event. Destined, a local charity promoting inclusion for people with learning disabilities, has kindly agreed to work with us in hosting the event, which will set off from Destined premises’ at the Foyle Valley Railway Museum. With the help of Destined will be providing cups of tea and buns for the participants and water for the dogs.

    There will be prizes for the dogs taking part. GAIN, the manufacturers of pet nutrition products, will be sponsoring the event and will be providing some goodies for participants. The Derry branch of Jolley’s Pet Superstore has also kindly donated some free goodies to be given out at the event.

    The walk is aimed at owners of rehomed greyhounds, racing greyhounds and anyone with an interest in a fun afternoon out. We are asking people to come along and meet the breed and even get to walk one of the dogs. There will be Lots of ‘doggie’ men and women there with their dogs and will be happy to let the public get up close to the dogs and even walk them.


    The event will also be an opportunity for people to register as members of our group. Anyone who has an interest in the dogs or who just wants to support our work can sign up for a year’s membership, which costs just £5. The Supporter’s Group will have lots of exciting prize draws, competitions and events for our membership throughout the year, which is another good reason to join us.


    21 Brian Friel International Festival returns to Derry & Donegal 


    The Brian Friel International Festival will return to Derry~Londonderry and Donegal with a five day programme of music, theatre, readings and outdoor events, from August 24-28, celebrating the life and work of the late playwright.


    FrielFest is part of ARTS OVER BORDERS, a new cross-border arts initiative for Ireland – a concept from Derry-born artistic directors Sean Doran and Liam Browne that builds on the success of the Beckett Festival and A Wilde Weekend in Enniskillen. It is run in association with the Nerve Centre.


    In this first year, Arts Over Borders will celebrate the relationship between Brian Friel and Homer; it is said that each year Friel would read one or other of the two Homer epics.

    Acclaimed Irish actor/director, Adrian Dunbar, will direct a special site-specific adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, presented episodically with food and music on five of the most beautiful beaches in Donegal.


    The Odyssey will be recited by actor Niall Cusack and take place on the beaches of Tullan Strand Bundoran (24 August); Narin (25 August), Carrickfin (26 August), Marble Hill (27 August) and Fahan, Inishowen (28 August) whilst in Derry’s Guildhall Square will stand Odysseus’s cunning idea of The Trojan Horse under the Walls of Derry evoking both the Troy and Derry sieges. Over 10 days, sports of fencing, martial arts and archery will take place in the vicinity along with storytelling for children from under the belly of the horse.


    Frielfest 2017 will also have performed readings of three great plays by Friel in unique locations across the region:  the festival’s signature play, Making History, directed by former Royal National Theatre Associate Mick Gordon (An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny & The Guildhall Derry, 25 & 26 August), The Enemy Within with 10 actors from Kabosh (St. Mary’s Church Knockmoyle where Friel was born, and St Columba’s Church, Long Tower Derry, 25 and 26 August) and a promenade Faith Healer in community halls in Glenties, Portnoo and Ardara ending up at the Highlands Hotel in Glenties, the location of Brian Friel’s grave (August 25-27).


    Christopher Logue’s unfinished epic War Music, an account of Homer’s Iliad written over 30 years, will be directed by Conall Morrison (hot on the heels of his recent 5-star Guardian review for his Galway International Arts Festival hit Woyzeck in Winter) in five indoor locations along the magnificent Walls of Derry and involving three actors (24-28 August).


    Prior to the reading of Making History in the Guildhall, Dr. Malachy O’Neill, Provost of the Ulster University Magee campus, will give an introductory talk on the place of the play in Friel’s work and earlier that afternoon Malachi O’Doherty and Brian Feeney debate how history is made and the role of traditional and social media in this.


    All these events aim to highlight the relationship between artists and the island of Ireland, crossing borders and histories. The initiative is supported by a set of Irish Artist Patrons including Colm Toibin, Fiona Shaw, Eimear McBride, Kevin Barry, Ciaran Carson, John Banville, Lisa Dwan, Lisa McInerney, Nick Laird, Roy Foster and Adrian Dunbar.


    Speaking about the plans for Arts Over Borders, Artistic Directors Seán Doran and Liam Browne of DoranBrowne said: “Now, more than ever, we believe we need to celebrate the great literary heritage of Ireland, which has no boundaries. Over the coming years, we hope to create a major international platform for Ireland to speak to the world, built on the foundations of its writers: a roll call of some of the greatest in the English language.”


    Adrian Dunbar said ”Brian Friel, I believe, would be excited to hear of our plans to read Homer’s Odyssey on the beaches of Donegal. It was here after all that he imagined them first, lost among the islands or marching purposefully like Spartans to hold the Gap at Barnes Mor. Niall Cusack will be our Rhapsode in the Tent telling the story, there will of course be music and wine and fires lit. Theatre governed by the tides. I cant wait.”


    The Brian Friel International Festival is funded by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Tourism NI, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Donegal County Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, An Grianan Theatre and Failte Ireland.


    22 Heritage event celebrates 20 years of success


    The Department for Communities has launched the 20th year of the European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) Weekend on 9 and 10 September 2017.


    The theme for the 2017 event is Heritage and Nature: A landscape of possibilities.  History and culture will be brought to life at over 370 properties, some of which are only open on this weekend, and a wide range of events. All events are free of charge and many are family friendly, meaning that everyone can take this opportunity to explore. This year’s programme features a wide variety of special events such as walking tours and history re-enactments. 


    The programme was launched by the Director of Historic Environment Division at the Department for Communities, Iain Greenway, at the Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office.  The Harbour Commissioners Office is a Grade A listed building with significant antique furnishings and artworks.  Built in 1854 and extended in 1895, the Harbour Office’s style of architecture reflects an Italian palazzo with impressive stained glass windows depicting industry, commerce and enterprise and mosaic floors on the ground floor and first floor lobby.  


    Some highlights for European Heritage Open Days 2017 include:-.

    Ram’s Island – Sandy Bay, Lough Neagh – you can take a free tour of this intriguing island and learn about its diverse history and wildlife. Features of the island include a round tower from the remains of a 1000 year old Celtic monastic settlement, and the ruins of the O’Neill family’s nineteenth century summer house, the caretaker’s cottage and a 200 year old exotic planted garden.


    Northern Ireland's Secret Bunker, Portadown - Find out how our country would have coped if the Cold War had ever turned hot. Tours by original crew members dressed in period uniform, WWII 'Battle of Britain' equipment and uniforms and expert demonstrations of how the Observer Corps intercepted enemy aircraft.


    Adults’ Cryptic Challenge & Children's Puzzle Challenge, Belfast City Hall - Are you and your family partial to puzzles? Kids crazy for conundrums? Test your brain power and explore the grounds for a cryptic challenge.


    Guided Bus Tour of Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark - a guided tour of some of the major sites within the UNESCO Global Geopark, including The Cavan Burren, Cornagee Viewpoint, Blacklion, Hanging Rock, Claddagh Glen with optional nature walk. Includes a guided tour of Marble Arch Caves.


    Brochures are available at tourist information centres, libraries and are available to download at https://discovernorthernireland.com/ehod


    Whilst all events are free some require pre-booking. To avoid disappointment check out www.discovernorthernireland.com/ehod or @ehodni on Twitter.


    23 Pack up your troubles, and your summer picnic, and smile


    Brackfield Wood, Saturday 19 August


    A visit to Brackfield Wood this summer is an absolute must.  And if you go down to the woods on Saturday 19 August, you’re in for an added surprise.


    The Woodland Trust’s Centenary Wood, in the heart of the north west’s beautiful Faughan Valley, is the venue for a Saturday brimming with activities – from mindfulness to storytelling, and all free of charge. 


    Simply book your place in advance, don walking boots, and pack a picnic and rug to really make a day of it.


    Brackfield Wood is one of just four flagship woods taking shape across the UK to mark the 100th anniversary of the First World War.  In total, the Trust’s ambitious Centenary Woods project will see millions of trees planted in recognition of the millions of lives lost.


    Over 23,000 flourishing saplings, out of an ambitious 40,000 target, are already springing to life at Brackfield.  The trees will be a unique and lasting tribute to the people from Ireland who played a part in the war – the soldiers, their families, and loved ones.  


    In complete contrast to the sadness and destruction, Brackfield Wood is an uplifting sight.  It’s right by the banks of the stunning River Faughan and is currently showing off swathes of glorious wildflowers.   The colourful mix is a feast for precious pollinators, as well as being easy on the eye.


    The charity wants everyone to experience the beauty of Brackfield first-hand, and is offering a range of activities:

    11am:    Mindfulness walk. Pack up your troubles and take in the calming woodland sights and sounds.  This one is for grown-ups only.

    12 midday:  Storytelling walk. Enjoy tree tales and tall tales for all the family. 

    1pm: Tree-themed fun and games.  A fun way for children to really get to grips with nature.


    The activities are free, but booking in advance is essential.  Children must be accompanied by an adult. Book online and get all the detail at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/events ; or call 0330 333 5302


    The Centenary Woods project is supported by the Trust’s lead partner Sainsbury’s.


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