The Councils summer scheme programme provided activities for children from right across the Borough from 16 July to 3 August. This year through a partnership approach with community groups in Millisle, Portaferry, Kilcooley and Breezemount, funding and training enabled 490 children from nine locations across the Borough to participate in the programme.
Funding for the Summer Scheme programme was provided by the Council, through its PEACE IV project. This is part of a €3.9 million project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Funding was also provided from the Councils Community Investment Fund.
The Fun Day was the first initiative in the financial year to be funded by the Council’s Recycling Community Investment Fund established in response to £1m being saved as a direct result of residents in Ards and North Down recycling more food waste.
Money generated by residents engaging with Ards and North Down Borough Council’s recycling scheme was reinvested back into the community to support the Fun Day event for the children which took part at Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex on Friday 3 August. Todds Leap also provided a range of exciting sporting activities enjoyed by the children.
The Mayor said: “The Recycling Community Investment Fund was established in 2016 as a thank you to residents for their re-cycling efforts. Each year it will be used to fund a variety of projects that directly benefit local residents. Ards and North Down residents have been quick to adopt recycling activities but of course we all could do more. The council will shortly be announcing another exciting initiative to encourage recycling at home and across the Borough at large. By making savings like these on recycling we can reinvest the saving in the future of our Borough making it a nicer place to live.”
Councillor Eddie Thompson, Chair of Ards and North Down Borough Council PEACE IV Partnership said: “I am delighted to be here today representing the PEACE IV Partnership and supporting Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Summer Scheme fun day. We are here today to support Todds Leap which is delivering two projects of behalf of the PEACE IV Partnership. The first is a Primary School (out of hours) active diversity programme that will create opportunities for young people to take part in large participation events such as a multi skills sports festivals. The second is a cross community sports and Good Relations programme that will develop young people’s skills through sport, including non-traditional sports where social, communication and listening skills will be developed in a fun and safe environment. The programme will build friendships and promote diversity and good relations.
“It is great to see so many young people building friendships with others from across the borough through a wide variety of sports. We hope that the relationships that are starting today can be built upon and help to make a more peaceful society.”
The Council’s Community Development Officer, Linda McAllister said: “2018’s Summer Scheme has been a great success. This year, in partnership with Community Groups, we have been able to double the size of our Summer Scheme programme giving children right across the Borough an equal opportunity to join schemes and enjoy the same cross section of activities. This has been possible as a direct result of residents recycling their waste. It’s very much a win win.”
As part of the Funday children were able to take part in a wide range of activities at the Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex which included screen-printing, sporting activities, creating healthy snacks at a community kitchen, recycling activities, arts and crafts, bouncy castles, assault courses, climbing wall and a host of other events. Emergency vehicles from NI Fire and Rescue Service and PSNI were also in attendance.