Published: Sun, 6 Dec 2015
Ladies from Sliabh Dubh and Springmartin have been beavering away for a number of weeks making Christmas decorations for their homes as part of a cross community initiative.
The programme of craft making was supported by us as part of its commitment to developing and improving community cohesion. The crafting programme was organised by Black Mountain Shared Space Project, in partnership with Black Mountain Action Group and Springhill Community House. It ran for 10-weeks with the first half located at Sliabh Dubh Manor and the remaining at the Phoenix Centre, Springmartin.
Twenty have been learning how to sew and decorate glass as they created a variety of decorations for Christmas including wreaths, baubles and advent calendars. More than this it was an opportunity for the women to get together, have a natter and share experiences as they learned new skills.
Amanda Ashe, our Good Relations Officer, explained:
“One of the Housing Executive’s objectives is to promote shared experiences and this is a good example of it becoming a reality. The crafts created look fantastic and I commend everyone who took part in the programme.”
Joanna Felo, Intra-Community Development Worker at Black Mountain Shared Space Project, commented:
“The programme has proved an extremely positive experience for those who participated as well as those who organised it. We hoped it would help build positive relationships between existing communities and I am delighted this has been more than achieved as new friends have been made and areas opened up. On behalf of the group I’d like to thank the Housing Executive for their support.”
One of the participants from Springmartin, Michelle, said:
"The classes have been great. Doing the arts and crafts has been relaxing. I've found it therapeutic."
Meanwhile, Roseanne from Sliabh Dubh said:
"I've really enjoyed spending time getting to know the ladies in this group. The craic has been great, and we have learned a lot about each other and each other's communities."
Our Area Manager, Sharon Beattie, said:
“The Housing Executive is more than brick and mortar and this project is an excellent example of our role in working within local communities and in partnership with the voluntary sector.”
Nearer Christmas the group is travelling to Derry~Londonderry to meet members of the Triax Community Group at their Christmas market. It will be an opportunity for them to chat with the Triax Women's Group about how they started and how they have progressed to selling their arts and crafts at this annual fair.