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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

ABC Council Launches ‘Go East for India’ Fundraising Appeal

Pictured at South Lake Leisure Centre L-R: Lyndsay Richardson from Café IncredABLE; ABC Council staff, Emma Anderson and Michael McDaniel; and ABC Council Chief Executive, Roger Wilson; and Lord Mayor, Councillor Kevin Savage.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council is spearheading a major fundraising campaign to support the people of India – as they battle the world’s worst second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with devastating daily figures breaking global records.

ABC Council has today (Friday 21 May), launched a ‘Go East for India’ fundraising appeal to walk, run, cycle and paddle the 4,812 miles from Craigavon to Chennai in India – to help raise money for Oxfam to supply much needed Covid-19 aid and assistance for the people of India. 

Council staff and Elected Members are coming together to do a variety of fundraising activities to support the cause, including a spin-a-thon at South Lake Leisure Centre, a biathlon involving running and kayaking at Craigavon Lakes, and a step challenge.

Funds raised will help the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal and will support their aims to  distribute PPE and medical equipment to hospitals and health centres, provide food and cash to the most vulnerable, as well as remove the barriers to increasing vaccine production and ensure access for everyone.

In 2017 council established a long standing association with India through the launch of the ‘Export to India – Go East Programme’. This programme enabled businesses from across the borough to take part in a trade mission to India, establishing many positive business partnerships, particularly in the Chennai region.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Councillor Kevin Savage said:

“Council members and officers were visibly moved by the devastating scenes coming from India recently, and were compelled to do something to help at this critical time for the country. Over the past five years, council has developed strong working relationships with many government and business leaders in the region, which has benefited many businesses across the borough through the ‘Go East Programme’. The catalyst for this was the trade mission in 2017.”

“The warmth and hospitality that many of my colleagues experienced during this visit has had a lasting impact, so as a council we are encouraging everyone to please donate and help the people of India in their real hour of need.”

India is currently struggling as the healthcare system is seriously overwhelmed by the ever-increasing number of Covid-19 cases. Raising money to provide much needed aid and assistance will help support the Indian people, especially the most vulnerable at this critical time.

If you would like to be part of this fundraiser and donate to Oxfam, come along and support any of the below events taking place at South Lake Leisure Centre.

Tuesday 8 June 2021: Spin-a-thon

Starting on the hour from 11am to 5pm, 17 bikes will be available for instructor-led spin classes, lasting 45 minutes. £5 minimum donation per attendee.

Wednesday 9 June 2021: Biathlon

Starting at 10am and setting off at half-hour intervals until 7.30pm, teams of five (at a maximum) will compete in a one mile race around the Lake and a one mile kayak on the Lake. Times will be recorded, with the fastest person and team winning watersports activity vouchers. £5 minimum donation per attendee.

Friday 11 June 2021: ABC Council staff spin

With two spin bikes at South Lake Leisure Centre café area, staff will also be spinning their way to help raise funds. Spur them on by making cash donations on the day.

ABC Council is also encouraging local businesses in the borough to get behind the initiative and offer their support by donating and/or organising their own fundraising events.

If you are interested in taking part or would like to donate, click here.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

South Lake Leisure Centre ‘Go Award’ Winner!

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council together with Farrans have recently scooped a prestigious ‘Go Award’ for the brand new, state-of-the-art South Lake Leisure Centre build.

Taking place virtually on 27 May 2021, the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Northern Ireland Awards recognise innovative public procurement practices within local and central government as well as the private sector.

Bagging the Social Value Award for its contribution to the local area, the South Lake Leisure Centre project helped bring together over 10,000 individuals to take part in progressive education and employment programmes during its construction.

With a shared vision to leave a lasting legacy, the collaborative initiative focused on creating a thriving economy underpinned by the skill set of the local people; empowering and strengthening communities; and tackling social inequalities.

“What a fantastic achievement!” commented Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr.

Aspiring young engineers being shown the ropes at Farrans’ International Women in Engineering Day event at the South Lake Leisure Centre site in 2019.

“This award win is a testament to everyone’s hard work, dedication and determination to continually go beyond normal standards in order to make a real difference to the lives of people in the local area. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this impressive project – very well done!”

During the South Lake Leisure Centre construction, the project exceeded apprenticeship targets and work experience targets by 37% and 73% respectively.

Sarah Fearon, Community Business Partner for Farrans, said:

“As a business we recognise our ability to have a positive and lasting societal impact through the delivery of our social value programmes, which bring economic, social and environmental benefits to the communities in which we operate.

“Our core business operations enhance prosperity through our commitment to procuring goods and services locally, supporting SMEs, creating apprenticeships and job opportunities, and working closely with our supply chain to drive innovation.

“We were pleased to have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, social enterprises, schools, local suppliers and the community to ensure that we placed the needs of the people at the heart of our operations at South Lake Leisure Centre.”

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Local Residents, Businesses, Council Staff & Councillors Work Up a Sweat for Charity!

Pictured at Go East for India instructor led spin class, Fiona Greenfield, Councillor Paul Greenfield, Alderman Gareth Wilson and South Lake Leisure Centre team member.

Last week saw local residents, businesses, council staff and councillors run, cycle and paddle to help raise vital funds for the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal – with donations still open!

Led by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the calorie busting fundraiser got into gear on Tuesday 8 June at South Lake Leisure Centre – seeing everyone from fitness fanatics to those up for a challenge take part in instructor-led spin classes, a biathlon involving running and kayaking at Craigavon Lakes and a day long spin-a-thon.

While the fundraising challenge reached the finish line on Friday 11 June, donations continue to roll in and will continue to be accepted until Wednesday 30 June 2021.

Funds raised will help Oxfam distribute PPE and medical equipment to hospitals and health centres; provide food and cash to the most vulnerable; and remove the barriers to increasing vaccine production and ensure access for everyone.

Thanking everyone who took part in and donated to the charity challenge, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr commented:

“I’m so pleased to see so many of the borough’s residents, businesses, council staff and elected members get behind this worthy cause and help raise money for the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal.

“In council, we’ve forged strong working relationships with many government and business leaders in India since our first trade mission to the country back in 2017. As we witnessed the devastating scenes coming from the region over the past number of weeks, we felt compelled to do something to help the people of India in their hour of need.

“We hope our fundraising efforts will help support Oxfam’s ongoing response to the crisis and I would encourage everyone to continue to donate if they can.”

In 2017, council established a long-standing association with India through the launch of the ‘Export to India – Go East Programme’. This programme enabled businesses from across the borough to take part in a trade mission to India, establishing many positive business partnerships, particularly in the Chennai region.

With donations still open, you can donate to the Oxfam India Covid-19 Appeal here or if you would like to learn more about the appeal click here.

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