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Ards And North Down

Keeping Safe Ambassadors Return to Town Centres in Ards and North Down

Two of Ards and North Down’s Keeping Safe Ambassadors, Tori McKinney and Leslie Turner, pictured in Main Street, Bangor. Image Credit: Ian Pedlow

As retail begins to reopen across Northern Ireland, Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Keeping Safe Ambassadors are being redeployed back into the Borough’s five main towns – Bangor, Comber, Donaghadee, Holywood and Newtownards.

Fund​ed from Covid 19 financial support provided to the Council by the Department for Communities, the Keeping Safe Ambassadors will be in place from Fridays to Sundays and will act as a friendly point of contact for businesses, customers and visitors who need advice or clarification in relation to Covid-19 restrictions.

As well as being a reassuring presence in our town centres, they can assist with Council-specific enquiries and signpost relevant concerns to other organisations.

Keeping Safe Ambassadors were initially deployed into the Borough’s town centres during the lead up to Christmas as part of the Town Centre Recovery Plan. They provided a welcome and reassuring presence on the streets, and acted as a point of contact with the Council for the public to raise any concerns. They helped to deal with queries while also reminding people of current restrictions and offering advice.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Trevor Cummings, said:

“Since Christmas, the Ambassadors have successfully continued their role in targeted, high-footfall areas in public parks and open spaces, so I am delighted that they are now able to return to our town centres once again.

“Their presence will provide confidence to those visiting our town centres and help everyone support our local retailers but please make sure you avoid crowds, follow measures such as wearing masks, queuing and one-way systems, stay patient, and keep safe.”

Ards And North Down

Veterans Parade Returns to Newtownards on 24 September

Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

A parade led by the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment, supported by Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment, will form part of the annual Veterans Evening in Conway Square, Newtownards, on Friday 24 September at 7pm.

The event will be hosted by Ards and North Down Borough Council, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, and will recognise the invaluable contribution of men and women from across the Borough who served their country, both at home and abroad.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“We have many serving and past members of the Armed Forces living in the Borough. This annual event pays tribute to our veterans and it is a time to remember those who served, sacrificed and fought for our freedom. I look forward to the event and hope that many of our residents will line the streets in support of our veterans.”

Starting from Court Square at 7pm, the band will follow a route to Conway Square (via Court Street and South Street) where it will be received by the Lord Lieutenant of County Down.

A Beating Retreat ceremony, with a colourful cavalcade of military music, tradition and precision drill, will then take place, with Royal British Legion veterans parading alongside members of the many regimental associations from the Borough and beyond.

The band will follow a return route from Conway Square to Court Square via High Street, Mill Street, Gibson’s Lane, Regent Street, Frances Street, Castle Place and Castle Street.

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Ards And North Down

‘Chatty Bench’ Installed in Bangor to Tackle Loneliness

Hester Kelly (Good Morning Call Volunteer) with the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, and Dorothy Beattie (Manager, AGE North Down & Ards) on the Chatty Bench in Bangor Castle Walled Garden. Photo Credit: Ian Pedlow

Ards and North Down Borough Council has placed its first ‘Chatty Bench’ in the beautiful surroundings of Bangor Castle Walled Garden.

Designed to help tackle loneliness and support positive mental health within the community, Chatty Benches are popping up all around the country to provide a place for people to come together, chat and connect.

After more than a year of social distancing, the brightly coloured bench is designed to attract attention and encourage people to talk to each other.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks, said:

“Chatty Benches are an excellent initiative to tackle loneliness in our community. They provide designated places that encourage people to meet and talk, even if they don’t know each other. The Council will soon install a second bench in Newtownards’ Londonderry Park, so if you feel like you want to chat with someone, simply take a seat on a Chatty Bench.”

Bangor Castle Walled Garden is an award-winning park that holds a prestigious Green Flag Award. It is a popular destination with residents and visitors to the Borough.

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