Great turnout for Whiteabbey fun day

Taking a well deserved break: Ryan McKay-Kilfedder, BRIC good relations officer Chris Davis, Kirsty Sloan, Joanne McCabe, Ashley McGuire, Julie McGovern, Louise Southham, Karen Maguire, Chairperson Margaret King, Debbie Sloan, Andrea Lily and Craig McKay.
Taking a well deserved break: Ryan McKay-Kilfedder, BRIC good relations officer Chris Davis, Kirsty Sloan, Joanne McCabe, Ashley McGuire, Julie McGovern, Louise Southham, Karen Maguire, Chairperson Margaret King, Debbie Sloan, Andrea Lily and Craig McKay.

Whiteabbey’s Community Centre was buzzing as the community group inspired a large turnout for its third annual good relations fun day.

This year the event was celebrated with Whiteabbey’s football clubs and the Team Oscar Appeal.

On the day, children, young people and adults all congregated in the estate for a variety of activities which included a petting zoo, zorbing, bouncy castles and food supplied by New Abbey Foods and El Burrito in Whiteabbey.

The fun day was supported by the the Building Relationships in Communities (BRIC) programme, the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council, the Housing Executive and TIDES training and funded by European Union’s Peace III Programme.

Chair of Whiteabbey Community Group, Margaret King said: “Our group has been overwhelmed by the support shown by Whiteabbey residents and our surrounding communities who came together to celebrate our annual fun day.

“The community also congratulated the talented Whiteabbey Football Club on their taking part in the Deborah Sloan Memorial Cup Tournament.

“Deborah was lost from our community in 1999 at only 15 years old after a long battle with cancer.

“With the support of the BRIC programme, we were able to further honour Deborah’s memory by presenting the each team member with a medal to accompany the cup itself.

“The team also funded a new plaque and two cups for Deborah’s Girls’ Brigade in Whiteabbey, via a sponsored walk from our centre to Carrickfergus Castle.”

She continued: “Martin Wilson, from Whiteabbey, also showed his support to the Sloan family by raising an incredible £1,360 for Action Cancer by running in the Belfast Marathon amongst other fundraiser, in honour of her battle with the disease.”

“And local resident Megan Southham raised £325 for the ‘Team Oscar Appeal’ who hope to fund an immunization treatment for three-year-old Oscar Knox who suffers from Neuroblastoma, an aggressive and rare form of cancer.”

She added: “I would like to thank Whiteabbey Community Group’s volunteers, FC Whiteabbey, and all our residents who came together to help organize and set up the event.

“I’d also like to thank everyone who attended and enjoyed the afternoon, and to specifically to acknowledge the support of the BRIC programme partners.

“Chris Davis from BRIC provided invaluable assistance, and I’d thank the PSNI for their support in making this annual fun day our most successful yet.”

BRIC good relations officer Chris Davis said: “It was really exciting to see such a great turnout for the fun day.

“The BRIC programme and the hard work of the Whiteabbey Community Group and volunteers created a fun and inclusive environment which was embraced by the community.

“Good relations is embedded at the heart of all the Housing Executive’s work, and through the dedication of the Whiteabbey Community Group, the BRIC programme empowered the group and local residents to create an open and inclusive environment throughout the day with a thrilling range of family activities.”

See more coverage in this week’s Times...