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All Aboard for a family trip to Santa

Published: Mon, 8 Dec 2014
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Laureen McFaul from our Cohesion Unit waved off excited residents from Glen Ward before their trip to see Santa in his workshop.
Glen trip to see santa
As a finale to our Shared Communities Programme, residents from Glen Ward and neighbouring community headed to Downpatrick to board the ‘Lapland Express’ to visit Santa in his local workshop
The group travelled to Downpatrick Station where they boarded the beautiful steam train taking them out to Inch Abbey.  The train then arrived at the Loop Platform where Santa's special North Pole workshop train awaited.  Some very excited children and adults changed trains to meet Santa at his workshop with those last minute requests.  They then took some light refreshments in the buffet carriage before a quick trip to the Thomas the Tank Engine model railway exhibition.  Suddenly it was ‘all aboard’ again for the return trip to Downpatrick Station.
John Gibson from Glen Ward Community Development Association was ‘delighted with the trip’ and thanked our Cohesion Team for their support of this important intergenerational event.  He went on to say…
“This wonderful excursion was a terrific way to help cement the community’s participation in the Shared Communities Programme.  It was great to see everyone, young and old, enjoying the magical steam train with older members of our group reminiscing on their younger days when a steam train was a more common sight.  
“Everyone was delighted to work with the Housing Executive on the Shared Communities Programme and I look forward to our group pursuing other avenues to help keep this spirit alive.”
Deidre Crawford, our Community Cohesion Unit’s Manager, is ‘pleased’ with the Glen Ward Community Development Association’s increased capacity as a result of their work with us and commented…  
“It has been a pleasure for us to be involved in the good relations journey with Glen Ward over the past 18 months as they have been working towards a community of mutual understanding and respect for fellow residents.  We are delighted the group enjoyed this seasonal finale to their work and look forward to hearing the progress of the group in 2015.”