Out of this World
Published: Fri, 14 Aug 2015
This summer children in the Portadown area had an ‘out of this world’ summer scheme.
All thanks to the Community Intercultural Programme’s (CIP) Oasis Youth Club and the Housing Executive.
Learning new skills, making new friends and a sharing a great experience were all on the menu at the summer scheme which was held at the end of July. The shared summer scheme gave 230 children who attend local primary schools the opportunity to enjoy a week long range of activities all part of CIP and the Housing Executive’s commitment to promote positive community and race relations.
Led by a number of local coaches the children developed team building skills, social skills, along with cross community and intercultural relationships as they played a variety of ball games including basketball, bubble football, Gaelic, soccer and volleyball. They also had the chance to take part in arts and crafts, creative cooking and face painting.
Central to the success of the scheme was the commitment shown by 70 young volunteers, from Oasis Youth Club, most of who come from the various ethnic communities now living in the area.
Michelle Hazlett, the Housing Executive’s Good Relations Officer for the area, said:
“We were delighted to invest in CIP’s 2015 shared summer scheme as it supports our objectives of community cohesion and community involvement. It was terrific to see the children from across Portadown playing together, embracing each other’s culture and having fun.”
Stephen Smith, the CEO of Community Intercultural Programme, commented:
“At the heart of our work is promoting good race relations and integration, this summer scheme was developed with these in mind. The week was the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning by CIP but seeing the children having a great time learning and playing together made it all worthwhile. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the Housing Executive for their support of our initiative.”
Meanwhile the Housing Executive’s Area Manager, Denise McNally, welcomed the success of the scheme saying:
“The message of good community and intercultural relations was delivered in a fun and unique way. I commend CIP’s work in helping promote positive community development with young people in Portadown and I am pleased the Housing Executive was able to play its part.”