The Old Mill in Cloughmills was buzzing recently, as the Cloughmills Community Action Team community spirit inspired a huge turnout their Old Mill Good Relations Skill Exchange Day.
This year the event was celebrated with neighbours from Ballymoney including Deputy Mayor Alderman Cecil Cousley, and the wider Ballymena area.
The Community Action Team was proud to be supported by the building relationships in communities programme (bric), implemented in partnership by the Northern Ireland Rural Development Council, the Housing Executive and TIDES training, and funded by European Union’s Peace III Programme. Chair of Community Action Team, Patrick Frew, stated: “I am delighted to have seen such a wonderful turnout at Saturday’s event. The Team has been overwhelmed by the support shown by Cloughmills residents and our surrounding communities who came together allowing us to introduce the revitalization of Northern Ireland’s rural skills to our neighbours. “With the support of the bric programme, we were able showcase a number of skills in our community, with an exciting range of family activities including make your own pottery, bake your own breads workshops, making your own beverages such as Elderflower fizz, and much more.” “I would like to thank Cloughmills volunteers and our young people who came together to help organize and set up the event with the Community Action Team, and the vital support received from Ballymoney Council’s Recycling Education Officer, Declan Donnelly.
“I’d also like to thank everyone who attended and enjoyed the afternoon, in particular the Giant’s Causeway Community Action team for coming to visit and learn from our experience. I would like specifically to acknowledge the support of the bric programme partners, the Big Lottery Fund and the ‘People’s Millions’ programme, and also the PSNI for their support in making this skills exchange our grandest and most successful yet.” Bric’s Good Relations Officer for this area, Chris Davis, added: “Good relations is embedded at the heart of all the Housing Executive’s work, and with the dedication of the local communities and Community Action Teams, we look forward to our continued participation on the bric programme, which is empowering communities to achieve the goals of creating neighbourliness and inclusiveness in all aspects of community life. “It was really exciting to see such a great turnout to Saturday’s Celebration; the bric programme and the hard work of the Community Action Team and Cloughmill’s youth created a fun, educational and inclusive environment which was so embraced by the local community and beyond. We had the pleasure of hosting visitors from the wider Ballymena area, Ballymoney and even as far as Giant’s Causeway at the event. It has been so encouraging to have so many people getting to know new skills, in a way that is both empowering and engaging the whole community to work together as a whole.”