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Hilden blooms through hands of friendship

Published: Mon, 7 Jul 2014
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P7s from Forthill show off their handiwork.
Hilden group with mosaic
Local residents recently lent their support to Hilden Community Association as it officially opened its community garden and unveiled a mosaic.
The garden’s development was a real community affair as local people were encouraged to have their say on how it looked.  Artistic and green fingered enthusiasts came forward with their input to help produce the mosaic and garden which the whole area will enjoy for years to come.  
Through its Shared Communities Programme the Housing Executive funded the project and representatives from the organisation were delighted to attend the opening to see the work come to fruition.  
The P7 class from Forthill Integrated PS who had been involved were thrilled to return to see their garden and check on the planting they had done a few weeks earlier.  They also got the first glimpse of the finished mosaic.  With everything around blooming and the sun shining each pupil collected a Certificate of Appreciation to thank them for all their help with the garden’s development and the design of the mosaic.
The photo shows some of the P7s admiring the mosaic and garden with Ivan Davis & Tricia McCormick from Hilden Community Association, Alderman Paul Porter, Lesley Wilson (Island Arts Centre), Mrs Jones (Forthill Integrated PS), Jonathan Craig MLA, and Jenny Palmer (Housing Executive Board Member and local Councillor).
The mosaic was a collaborative creation between young people from the youth club, P7s from Forthill Integrated and children in the nursery with the support of artist Grainne Keilty.  The piece represents the hands of friendship offered to all by Hilden Community.
Forthill PS’ Vice Principal, Mr Weatherall, along with the joint head of early years, Mrs Jones, helped to plant a Japanese maple to mark the school’s involvement in the project.  
Speaking on behalf of Hilden Community Association the Chair, Trisha McCormick, said, “We are thrilled with the good wishes the community garden and mosaic have had from local residents.  The enthusiasm of the area’s young people who have been involved is terrific to see.  
"I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Housing Executive for their full support of this initiative and the funding needed.   I’d also like to thank everyone who attended including representatives from Resurgam Trust, Adie Bird, Phillip Dean, Denis Paisley and those from Lisburn Safe Project who took time out of their busy day to come and support us.”
Jennifer Hawthorne, the Housing Executive’s Head of Income Collection and Neighbourhoods was equally delighted with the results of the group’s project and went on to say, “Over the past two years Hilden Community Association has shown great dedication to the Housing Executive’s Shared Community Project which is much appreciated by all in the Community Cohesion team.  
“We were so pleased to support the creation of this garden as a lasting testament to the groups’ work.  I wish them well and hope local residents will get the sunny weather to enjoy the garden this year and for many years to come.”
Local councillors, Jenny Palmer and Alderman Paul Porter were at the opening along with Lesley Wilson the Arts Officer who provided invaluable help in arranging the opening.  Local MLA Jonathan Craig and Freeman of the City, Ivan Davis, both came to lend their support to the community association.