Ballymena and Antrim Residents Use National Lottery Money to Support Older People during Covid-19
03 August 2020
A grant by The National Lottery Community Fund is being used by people living at Clanmil Housing schemes in the Ballymena and Antrim areas to support their neighbours during the coronavirus pandemic.
Clanmil Tenants Margaret Millar, Sylvia Bell, Anne Mark, Maureen Pearce and Mark Walton Housing Officer at Clanmil.
The £4,200 funding was originally awarded to the group to support a project to boost the mental and physical health of older people through activities and trips. When this project was no longer possible due to the ongoing restrictions, the group, which has been running since July 2018, approached the National Lottery for permission to use the funding to help address the urgent need for community support during the pandemic.
With the help of Clanmil staff, the group has provided more than 1000 meals over the past 12 weeks to neighbours living in sheltered accommodation. The group would like to thank Delightful Bites and MacMahon butchers for their help in supplying these meals.
Clanmil Tenants Jillian Tullis, Margaret Millar and Sylvia Bell, Anne Mark and Maureen Pearce celebrate the 1000th Meal at Gloonan House.
Sylvia Bell, who has lived in Gloonan House for over 20 years, said:
"We were delighted to have been awarded this money and had been looking forward to our planned trips and activities. However, life is full of surprises and we agreed that the funding would be better used at this time to make sure that everyone stays healthy and has access to the support they need to get them through this difficult time.
"Working together as a group is helping us achieve more than we could alone. It's important when you get older that you don't feel alone, especially in times like this."
Clare McCarty, Group Chief Executive at Clanmil, said
"At Clanmil we encourage people to continue to lead active lives as they grow older and we are delighted that people in the Ballymena and Antrim area are taking the initiative and supporting each other. In a time of need, they are showing themselves to be a truly resilient community, redirecting this funding to provide regular meals and support to those who need it. This shows great strength and unity in their partnership.
"Thank you to the National Lottery. This money is helping people living in our Ballymena and Antrim schemes stay safe and get through this time together, whilst being safely apart".
People living in The Demesne Make a Difference in their Community
03 August 2020
People living in Clanmil Housing Association and South Ulster Housing Association's The Demesne housing development in Newry have joined together for a clean-up of their neighbourhood.
Clanmil's Linzi Webb and Claire Darby, Grainne Powell CEO at Sticky Fingers with artist Jim Russell and children who live in The Demesne who took part in the art.
The residents had identified litter as an issue, so, with the help of housing association staff, they organised a community clean up.
Young people living in the area particularly enjoyed getting involved and competing to bag the most rubbish on the day. Clanmil and South Ulster staff were on site to lend a hand and offer advice to tenants about the services available to them, such as money advice and energy saving.
Clanmil's Claire Darby and Niamh Quinn with Debra Black, South Ulster Housing and Clanmil's Carrie Fagan and Linzi Webb, with children living in The Demesne contributing to the community clean up.
The community tidy up was part of preparations for the launch of new artwork to be permanently displayed at The Demesne. The artwork has been produced by pupils from St Malachy's Primary School as part of a project with Sticky Fingers Arts.
Clanmil and Sticky Fingers have been leading a series of art workshops for the children through the Housing Associations Integration Project, which is funded by the EU's PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). The aim of the Project is to bring together tenants from a range of religious and cultural backgrounds to share experiences, learn about differences and embrace diversity in the communities in which they live. At the art workshops, the children were encouraged to think about what they love about the town they live in. Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.
Linzi Webb, Good Relations Officer at Clanmil Housing, said:
"Today's clean-up is a testament to the environmentally responsible people living at The Demesne. Everyone worked really hard as a community to tidy up and I hope the residents are pleased with the results. The children's beautiful artwork is the cherry on the top and will act as a reminder of what a great place this is to live."
Debra Black, Tenancy Support Officer at South Ulster Housing Association, said:
"The work carried out here today demonstrates how well this community has come together and helped to tidy up the area. The showcasing of the children's beautiful artwork is a credit to all the young people involved in both creating the artwork, and those who have helped with the clean-up today. We hope everyone has had an enjoyable day and are happy with the final outcome."
Grainne Powell, CEO at Sticky Fingers said:
"Sticky Fingers were delighted to have the opportunity to work with Clanmil Housing and St Malachys Primary school on this innovative project providing the youngest members of the community with a platform to celebrate their creativity and take part in developing their own community and space.
"The need to involve and engage our children and young people in taking ownership of their areas and communities is extremely important and art provides the perfect medium to support this to happen."
GREENTOWN TO MANAGE CLANMIL GREEN SPACES
25 June 2020
Clanmil Housing Group has awarded Greentown Environmental Ltd the contract to carry out grounds maintenance, landscaping and tree surgery at the housing association's 180 sites across Northern Ireland.
Bev Surgenor of Abbeyfield & Wesley and Tony Giffen of Clanmil Housing congratulate John-Ross Armstrong of Greentown Environmental (centre) on winning the £800K landscaping and grounds maintenance contract.
The family run Fermanagh based company, which also has bases in Magherafelt and Lisburn, will be responsible for keeping the green spaces around Clanmil's 5,300 plus homes looking their best, initially for the next 3 years, and potentially for a total of 7 years.
The contract, which could be worth up to £800K, also includes grounds maintenance at Abbeyfield & Wesley's 24 housing schemes for older people in Northern Ireland as part of a service arrangement with Clanmil.
Clanmil awarded the contract to Greentown Environmental after a competitive tender exercise which included meeting Clanmil tenants and demonstrating the latest back office technology and "quiet" electric battery powered equipment.
The contract also includes enhanced social value provisions which will see Greentown contributing to the Clanmil Community Fund, which supports community led activities in the neighbourhoods where Clanmil works, as well as the association's community cohesion and good relations work.
Tony Giffen, Group Director of Assets at Clanmil, said:
"We are delighted to welcome Greentown Environmental to the Clanmil team. The green spaces at our housing schemes are very important to the people who live there and to the communities surrounding our homes. We are looking forward to working with Greentown to ensure Clanmil's developments remain attractive places to live.
"Maintaining our sites in an environmentally sensitive way is a major priority for Clanmil. Greentown will be helping us implement our new environmental strategy through initiatives such as establishing composting facilities, supporting our residents' gardening initiatives, supporting habitats and planting wildflowers and nectar rich plants."
John-Ross Armstrong, Managing Director at Greentown Environmental said:
"Greentown are delighted to be working with Clanmil and Abbeyfield & Wesley housing associations. We have been working in the industry for over 10 years now and are committed to providing a personal service with professional results. Our employees take pride in their work and care for our clients' properties as if they were their own.
"We are conscious of our impact on the environment. We have made substantial investment in our range of equipment and have been involved with setting up other initiatives that help make our services as environmentally friendly as possible, something we know is also very important to both housing associations. Securing a contract of this nature has helped us create employment opportunities, given us the chance to give back to the community, and also helped us grow our business further across Northern Ireland."
Kind-hearted Portrush Football Club Deliver Chippy Treat to Elderly
02 June 2020
Portrush FC Youths have been treating people living at Clanmil Housing's Abercorn Court and Mews independent living scheme in Portrush to a weekly chippy tea for the past month.
The idea came about when Jason Quigley, Chairman of Portrush FC Youths, and his wife Colette, decided they wanted to do something to support older people living in their community during the coronavirus pandemic.
After receiving funding from Causeway Coast and Glens Council and a donation from local business Skyline Windows NI, they contacted a friend, Sean McLaughlin, who owns Krakin Fish & Chips. Sean agreed to supply the club with fish suppers and over the past month, Portrush FC Youths have delivered 530 meals to older people living in Portrush, Coleraine and Portstewart, including residents at Abercorn Court and Mews.
Fiona Milnes, Scheme Coordinator at Abercorn Court and Mews said:
"We are absolutely delighted by the kindness we've received. The residents adore their fish and chips delivery every Wednesday. Many of the people who live here have been socially isolating from their families and friends during the coronavirus crisis. This has been something for them to look forward to at this difficult time and we all need that at the minute."
Jason Quigley, Chairman at Portrush FC Youths said:
"It has been our pleasure to deliver Kraken Fish & Chips to isolating older residents and vulnerable adults in Portrush, Portstewart and Coleraine. We couldn't have done this without funding from the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and a generous donation from Skyline Windows NI. We're glad we can put this money to good use by helping others in our community through this tough time."
Staff at Abercorn Court and Mews deliver the food to each individual tenant's front door, adhering to social distancing rules.
"We've been getting lots of lovely comments from the staff and residents at Abercorn Court and Mews. It's great to know that such a small act of kindness can really turn a person's day around, and we're thrilled to be a part of that".
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