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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Students Celebrate The Best of Nothern Ireland

First Minister Arlene Foster visited Craigavon Senior High School today to mark the school's celebrations for the NI Centenary. During the visit, she met pupils and teachers, and took part in a tree planting ceremony to commemorate the occasion.

First Minister Arlene Foster has visited a special exhibition of favourite memories and much-loved locations created by students at Craigavon Senior High School as part of their Centenary celebrations.

The First Minister commended the inspirational display of images and prose which celebrate the best of Northern Ireland.

Arlene Foster said: “I was delighted to meet with students and hear from them about what matters most to them. It is clear that they have a love and a passion for this place that I share. The only point of difference between us is whether Fermanagh’s lakes or Armagh’s orchards make the top spot on the finest place to live.

“As we turn into our second century, it is important that we remember what is great about this place. We have an amazing landscape of great natural beauty and wonderful people who are warm and generous of spirit.

“Certainly down the generations there have been challenges, perhaps none greater than the pandemic, but we have also seen how much we can achieve when we work with shared understanding for the common good.”

The First Minister also took part in a tree planting ceremony at the school.

Ruth Harkness, Principal of Craigavon Senior High, said: “This year marks an important milestone in our history. We want to give our students the opportunity to shine a light on what makes Northern Ireland so special and to celebrate its culture and traditions.

“We are delighted that the First Minister was able to join us today, and that our students have been able to share their thoughts on the contribution Northern Ireland has made over the last 100 years.”

Craigavon Senior High School Centenary Celebrations includes: 

  • ‘What Northern Ireland means to me?’ – A gallery of reflections from students on their favourite place in Northern Ireland. 
  • Northern Ireland’s Contribution to the War Effort. A historical display of the vital role played by Northern Ireland in securing victory against the Nazi regime. 
  • 1900s day – our History Department are hosting a celebration of food, music and games from the 1900s.
  • 100k for 100 years – during the month of June students will walk, run, cycle or swim 100k to celebrate the centenary.

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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