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Local Family Fun Day in St Columb’s Park

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Local Family Fun Day in St Columb’s Park

The People We Support Enjoyed a Fun-Filled Day at St Columb’s Park

Our Derry/Londonderry services all came together for the first time for a Family Fun Day in the Walled Garden in St Columb’s Park on 23rd August. A committee made up of our Foyle-area staff wanted to bring everyone together for a day of celebration, especially after socialising had been reduced over the past two summers.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Sandra Duffy, got a morning stretch in with the sports day participants before the festivities kicked off.

Individual services would normally host their own but this past spring, the committee was formed and held a fundraiser in May to cover event costs, allowing six of our local services to host large-scale festivities: CONNECTS Day Service, Foyle Young People, North West Supported Living, Templemore Supported Living, Foyle Mental Health and Foyle Floating Support Services.

The people we support and their loved ones of all ages enjoyed a petting farm, inflatable obstacle course, face painting, manicure station, muffin decorating and card making. In the morning, Inclusively Fit held sports day events, Maiden City football coaches ran drills and Echo Echo Dance Company facilitated expressional dance. A lunch barbecue was served by the staff from the café in the park. A disco, karaoke and ice cream van rounded out the afternoon.

In addition to all the activities on offer, community partnership stood out to anyone in attendance. Louise Lyons, Team Leader at Praxis Care’s CONNECTS Day Service who spearheaded the project said:

“It’s important to us to include the Derry City warden, neighbourhood policing team, Foyle search and rescue team and firefighters. We want them to get familiar with us and vice versa. For the people we support, it can be intimidating to encounter people in uniform, so giving them access to chat with emergency personnel, learn from them what to do in an emergency and see the vehicles and tools they use is a good step.”

The CONNECTS Service are official ambassadors of St Columb’s Park, doing litter picking and tree planting. The park has been their go-to outdoor location for activities, especially since COVID. Following on from the success of this event, Louise is excited for the future:

“This isn’t a one-off event. We have plans for Halloween and Christmas!”

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