Residents gather for global feast of food and culture

Newtownabbey residents were joined by Councillor Billy Webb and ArtsEktra for a feast of global food and culture to celebrate Community Relations Week.  INNT 40-722-CON
Newtownabbey residents were joined by Councillor Billy Webb and ArtsEktra for a feast of global food and culture to celebrate Community Relations Week. INNT 40-722-CON

To mark Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2017, people living at Clanmil Housing’s Felden development in Newtownabbey joined with neighbours from the surrounding area for an extravaganza of food and culture from across the globe.

The theme of the week this year was Safe Space, Shared Place - tying in with the Northern Ireland Executive’s Together: Building a United Community priorities of Our Shared Community and Our Safe Community.

The event at Felden was organised by Clanmil in partnership with ArtsEktra, an organisation whose aim is to help shape an inclusive society in Northern Ireland by promoting dialogue and interaction between different cultures and communities.

Over 50 people of all ages came together to enjoy the free family event which included dancers from China, Poland and India, music from Africa and Ireland, including Ulster Scots, art workshops from Japan, Poland, India and China and food from across the world.

Residents from neighbouring areas were invited along to share the food and fun.

Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager at Clanmil Housing said: “Clanmil has almost 100 new homes here at Felden and, as with all of our new build housing schemes, as well as providing great homes, we want this to be a really good place for all to live.

“An important part of this is hosting events that give people the opportunity to socialise together whilst learning about diversity and the multi-cultural place that Northern Ireland is becoming.”

Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week provides a platform for organisations and groups from the community and voluntary public sectors to showcase innovative approaches to good relations and building a united and shared community.

It is coordinated by the Community Relations Council with support from The Executive Office, the Department for Communities, the Department of Justice and other government agencies.

The Felden event was one of over 160 activities held across Northern Ireland between September 18-24.