Building Ballysally gets Queen's Award
Published: Wed, 8 Jul 2015
Building Ballysally Together was recently awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service 2015.
Our Area Manager for Causeway, Mark Alexander, was invited to attend the celebratory event given the positive working relationship between the Housing Executive in Coleraine and the group.
Building Ballysally Together is involved in a range of services and projects for the benefit of the local residents. It is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, through the Management Committee, and employs two members of staff.
To date the group has set up a healthy eating café on the estate in 2008, in premises provided by us, and in a response to identified local need. The café is a place that anyone can call into.
It is a community facility, a crucial meeting place for isolated residents and it provides affordable meals including one main meal per day. It is also an information point for visitors and residents to enquire about the different activities and events in the area, as well as being a facility for training and events.
The group, with our funding, also introduced the ‘Growing Places’ area at the back of the café to grow their own produce. They also use this area to build relationships with the members of the local primary school and nursery school, with visits from school children over the school year.
Building Ballysally Together also secured over £4000 from our Community Cohesion team to commission a local artist to create a series of images to reflect the ethnic background of the majority of the population in Ballysally. As part of that project, nine paramilitary murals were reimaged.
Mark Alexander said: "I was honoured to have been invited to the event celebrating the achievement of Building Ballysally Together. It is an example of good practice in the work that it has carried out to transform and better the lives of their community, many of whom are our tenants. We look forward to continuing to work with Adrian Eakin and his team on future projects."