A Fun Filled August for Newtownabbey Kids Posted on 13 September 2021

Young people from Clanmil Housing's Shared Housing development at Felden in Newtownabbey and from the surrounding areas of Whitecity and Greater Whitewell, have enjoyed fun filled days out as part of summer schemes run by Clanmil in partnership with Bryson.

Kids in a den













The young folk, aged 9 to 15 years, learned some exciting new skills including archery, orienteering, campcraft and cooking. They also took to the water for canoeing and zorbing on the River Lagan.

The weekly sessions were designed to promote team-building and problem solving, and to help build personal resilience. Informal discussions about good relations were also encouraged during the sessions.

The initiative was part of Clanmil's on-going commitment to supporting positive communities and improving wellbeing.

The two summer schemes ran throughout August. Canoe trips and picnics rounded off the summer season for the groups at the end of the month.

Children playing cricket

Clanmil's Community Cohesion Officer, Gerard Rosato co-ordinated the schemes. Gerard said:

"We continue to work in partnership with the local Advisory Group and Felden residents to develop the Felden Good Relations Plan. The plan seeks to build good relationships and a sustainable community. The Felden summer scheme is part of this plan, bringing young people living at the development together to bond over new activities and experiences. COVID-19 restrictions over the past 18 months have really impacted on this age group and it is brilliant to see them building friendships, having fun and being active.

"Felden is a well settled neighbourhood and we hope these activities will build on the strong community here and ensure it continues to be a place where people love living."

Gerard continued:

"For the Whitecity and Greater Whitewell young people, the cross-community sessions are designed to encourage them to meet and get to know their neighbours, and to find out just how much they have in common."

The Felden scheme and associated Good Relations Plan is being delivered as part of the NI Executive Together: Building a United Community strategy, which aims to build a more shared society. The Felden shared housing scheme is also supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, receiving a total of £6.03m funding to date.