Other News In Brief

ANB Council And Save The Children Launch New Family Support Programme

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has partnered with Save The Children for a new Family Support Programme.

The programme will focus on supporting families with children aged 5 years and younger who are identified as being at greatest risk of poverty.

The Family Support Programme in Antrim and Newtownabbey is a partnership between the Council, Northern Health and Social Care Trust, Save the Children and Community Advice Antrim and Newtownabbey, offering support for families who are experiencing severe hardship.

Laura Feeney, Senior Partnership and Practice Manager at Save the Children said "Save the Children are delighted to be able to offer a range of children’s books provided by our long-standing partner Penguin Random House who are on a mission to donate 1 million books to children across the world. Through the partnership approach in Antrim and Newtownabbey 200 children will receive the gift of a book and experience the joy of reading".

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Mark Cooper commented: "This Christmas, as we come together as a community, let us remember the importance of extending a helping hand to those in need, ensuring that every child experiences the joy of the season. Together, we are not just providing support; we are building a foundation of hope for a brighter future for our children and families."

Green Party Welcomes Refurbishment Of Historic Railway Heritage

The Green Party has welcomed the impending refurbishment of historic railway heritage in Bangor, Co Down.

Councillor Barry McKee said: "I am delighted to receive notification from Translink that works to refurbish the sand chimney & outbuildings near Bangor railway station will begin on November 1st.

"This last remaining piece of historic railway heritage from the original Bangor railway station was set to be demolished in January 2020 before I began campaigning to preserve it.

"With help from members of the local community and railway enthusiasts, we managed to put a pause on the works to demolish the sand chimney.

"While the works were paused this gave time for one of those enthusiasts Robin Masefield to uncover the full extent of the history behind the chimney, so that he & I could make the case to Translink & Historic Environment Division in the Department for Communities that the Chimney must be saved. Thankfully Translink were convinced by the historical evidence presented by Robin and progressed with acquiring the funding to preserve the sand drying chimney.

"This is a great example of what can be achieved by members of the community making their voices heard in preserving things of local historical importance. It is easy for the significance of disused buildings or landmarks to be forgotten and we have lost many in this city over the years.

"All who assisted in this campaign by writing to Translink can take satisfaction in a job well done. I am so pleased that the Sand Chimney will be a reminder of the historic origins of the Belfast & County Down Railway for generations to come."

Alliance Condemns Ballymoney Arson Attack

The Alliance Party has condemned an attempted arson attack at Our Lady and St Patrick's Church in Ballymoney on the evening of Sunday, 19 November and appealed for anyone with information to contact the PSNI.

Alliance North Antrim MLA Sian Mulholland said: "Thankfully, the alarm was raised and the Parish Priest was able to attend to the fire promptly before it took hold, but it remains the case that this was an absolutely unacceptable attack on a place of worship within our community. 

"I have spoken with the Parish Priest today to offer my full support to him and to the parishioners of Our Lady and St Patrick's. Along with my council colleague for the area, Cllr Lee Kane, we will endeavour to do whatever we can to offer assistance to the Parish after this incident.

"This harkens back to a dark, troubling period in our past and nobody wants to see a return of attacks of this nature on places of worship or of cultural significance.

"If you have any relevant information about the incident, I would urge you to please contact the PSNI on their non-emergency number 101 quoting the reference 1540 19/11/23."

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