Choice Housing Association delivered a successful intercultural event in the Ballymena Services Club on Saturday 19 March 2022.
The large crowd of attendees from across Ballymena sampled traditional fayre in the form of stew and soda bread, and they enjoyed cross-community cultural entertainment provided by the Seven Towers School of Irish Dancers, the Sir George White memorial flute band, and Ulster Scots musician Willie Drennan.
Duane Johnston Ballymena Services Club member said:
“This was a fantastic cross-cultural event enjoyed by the Ballymena community. Thanks to Choice Housing and the Department for Communities and Housing Executive’s ‘Housing for All’ shared housing programme for making this happen.”
Following on from the event, a group of residents visited the Somme Museum in Conlig on Saturday 2h March 2022. The residents were welcomed by the museum’s Director Carol Walker MBE, who provided a fascinating and balanced insight into events in Ireland during the home rule crisis and the 1916 rising. The shared history learning experience enabled participants to explore the roles of the 10thIrish, 16th Irish and 36th Ulster divisions during World War 1.
Ballymena resident Colin Brown said: “This was a great opportunity for us all to learn more about the role of the Irish and Ulster divisions during World War 1, and also to learn of the devastating impacts that the events around that period had at home and abroad.”
Choice, Radius, Triangle and the North Belfast Housing Associations are developing six shared housing schemes in the Ballymena area, including the regeneration of the former St Patrick’s Barracks site. The Associations recently established the Ballymena Advisory Group with local stakeholders and residents to support the development and delivery of the shared schemes’ five-year Good Relations Plans.
The delivery of shared housing in Ballymena will see an investment of approx. £22.3M. The Ballymena shared schemes are located at Market Road Ballymena (£2.3M), the former St Patrick’s Barracks site (£13M), Broadway Avenue (£2.5M), Galgorm Road at (£2.5M), Doury Road (£1M), and Linenhall Street (£967K).