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Derry City & Strabane

The Alley ‘Reconnecting’ Adults with Learning Disabilities with Outdoor Summer Events

This summer, the Alley Theatre is delighted to be hosting a number of outdoor events for Adults with Learning Disabilities and their Carers as part of ‘Reconnect’, organised in partnership with The Western Health and Social Care Trust, Public Health Agency, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Derry City​ and Strabane District Council and Causeway Coast and Glens District Councils, and supported by the Public Health Agency,

Events will take place on Thursday 22nd July and Thursday 26th August from 6pm–8pm and on Saturday 11th September from 1pm-3pm and will be held in the Alley Theatre Courtyard, keeping safety and social distancing measures as a priority in line with health guidance.

Participants can enjoy a range of activities, including the ever popular ‘Energy of Light Disco’ hosted by DJ Oliver, pop up performances, drama, music and much more. There will also be light, healthy refreshments at each event.

Louise Boyce, Venue Manager at The Alley Theatre, commented: “The Alley Theatre is really delighted to be part of the ‘Reconnect Summer Programme’. This is a fantastic initiative to reconnect our Adults with Learning Disabilities and carers in a fun, safe and interactive environment. I have no doubt events such as these will have a major impact on improving health, physical and social wellbeing.  

“This will be the first live event The Alley Theatre will hold since re-opening again after Covid-19 easing of restrictions and our team really can’t wait to see audiences reconnect and have fun beside Ambrose in the Alley Courtyard. 

“As per Government Guidelines we will have safety measures in place and numbers are restricted due to social distancing. 

“This is a free event but booking is essential. Please see our website www.alley-theatre or call us on 028 71 384444 to find out more about how we are keeping our customers and staff safe.”

The Alley Theatre is just one venue holding events as part of the ‘Reconnect’ programme. Other venues taking part include Foyle Arena (26th August & 17th September) and Derg Valley Leisure Centre (12th August).

Derry City & Strabane

Business and Culture Committee Receives Update on Christmas Plans

Members of Council’s Business and Culture committee were presented with an update on plans for the Christmas programme within the district at their September meeting on Tuesday.

Presenting the report, Council’s Head of Culture, Aeidin McCarter, explained that the Christmas programme would begin on November 20th and continue into December, focusing on key weekends throughout this period.

Members heard that the programming will focus on bringing communities together, creating the space for shared inclusive celebration around the Christmas period and that all programming would be carried out in line with Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.

It was explained that Christmas lights switch ons will take place in Strabane on Saturday 20th November and in Derry on Sunday 21st November. Members were told that following last year’s virtual switch ons, this year it was proposed that the event return to an outdoor event format using different streets in the city and town centres to allow for social distancing.

Aeidin McCarter said, “We are planning a ‘Santa’s Switch On Procession’ which will consist of festive characters, NI Fire and Rescue Service, Panto Characters and beautiful bespoke Christmas themed mobile installations.

“Members of the public attending the Switch On event will be able to view Santa switching on the Christmas lights from a series of city and town centre streets which will allow for the maximum number of people to safely line the routes.”

She added that Business and Culture officers are working closely with the Council’s Environment Directorate to ensure that the various Christmas lighting schemes are complemented by a mix of events and activities to ensure an enriched overall visitor and shopper experience.

Members were also informed that work was ongoing around the Christmas Markets and a further update would be provided on the proposed details and dates at next month’s committee meeting.

Due to the continued indoor restrictions with regards to Covid-19, members were told that the possibility of hosting the Guildhall Craft Fair is unlikely, but that the festive marketing campaign would centre around ‘shop & gift local’, ‘support local’ and ‘your small spend makes a giant difference’ messaging themes to support local businesses and traders.

As part of the update, members also heard that the Council’s Events team are continuing to work closely with the Mayor’s Office on a series of activities that will enable the Mayor to bring Festive fun to communities in the Derry City and Strabane District.

Members voted to approve the overall budget of £80,000, with a further update to come before committee in October.

Business and Culture chair, Cllr Conor Heaney, welcomed the report and thanked Council officers for their work on the programme to date, adding that the festive period is always a positive and exciting time for local people and businesses and that the proposed programme will add to that excitement.

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Derry City & Strabane

Mayor to Host ‘Supercar Sunday’ for Charity

The Mayor, Graham Warke pictured at Guildhall Square on Saturday with Christopher Cooper, manager, FDST and staff Grainne Dunne, Megan Crossan and Aine Barrett. 'The Mayor's Supercar Sunday' will take place on 3rd October in aid of the Mayor's charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust. The event will include Lamborghinis, Corvettes, Mustangs and MacLarens on display in the city centre.

If you’re a fan of all things cars, there will only be one place to be next month as Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, hosts ‘The Mayor’s Supercar Sunday’ which will see a range of the world’s most exciting supercars on display in the city centre.

The event will take place on Sunday 3rd October when car enthusiasts Gary McCaul and Keith Gamble will bring up to 15 cars that will include supercars such as Lamborghinis, Ferrari and McLarens together with American Muscle cars such as Corvette and the Fo​rd Mustang to Guildhall Square and Harbour Square for the public to get up close and personal with these incredible machines.

Mayor Warke is hosting the special event to raise funds for his Mayor’s charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, and attendees will be invited on the day to donate to the charity, which supports and empowers children and young people with Down syndrome from birth to adulthood.

“I’m really looking forward to this event at the start of October and having got a sneak peek of some of the cars that will be on display I can safely say this is something not to be missed,” said the Mayor.

“We’ve all seen the Lamborghinis and Mustangs on TV and in films, but this is an opportunity to get a close-up look at these magnificent cars.

“I can guarantee that it will be fun for all the family. It’s not often that you get to see so many of these supercars all in one spot, so make sure you call down on Sunday 3rd October and have a look.

“This is all in aid of my chosen Mayor’s charity, Foyle Down Syndrome Trust, who do fantastic work in this city and district. All donations will be hugely appreciated, and all proceeds collected on the day will go directly to helping FDST.”

‘The Mayor’s Supercar Sunday’ will take place on Sunday 3rd October from 12pm to 4pm in Guildhall Square and Harbour Square. Donations can be made on the day to Foyle Down Syndrome Trust or you can donate online.

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