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."