International links with Barcroft Summer Festival

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Monday, July 9th, 2012
Community, What's On
The Annual Barcroft Community Festival is due to kick off on Monday 23rd July with help from ten international volunteers. For nearly twenty five years the local community group has worked in partnership with Voluntary Services International in Dublin (VSI) bringing youth leaders and students from all parts of Europe to the Newry Estate to help deliver the summer programme. Commenting at the launch Darren Thomson, Chairperson of Barcroft Community Association, focused on the international dimension of the Barcroft Festival. Speaking to Newry Times, Mr Thompson said: “For nearly twenty five years Barcroft Community Association has developed a unique partnership arrangement with Voluntary Services International, to deliver and sustain our annual Summer Festival. We have had volunteers from many European countries, America, England and Japan who have come to Barcroft through VSI.” Mr Thompson added: “The international link was established back in the 1980’s by Dermot Russell who was a Community Worker based in Barcroft at the time. The origins of the volunteers who have come to Barcroft over the years introduced local people to a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We have actively promoted opportunities during the two week programme to promote an exchange of cultural experiences including input from the Council’s Irish language Department.” “We have organised a diverse programme including a number of old favourites along with new activities including ‘Jumping Clay’, Belfast Community Circus’ and an ‘Inter-Community Sports Day’. We have contacted all the Newry community groups and asked them to take part in the Sports Day.” He added, “I would like to thank all those who have given us financial and organisational assistance: Newry & Mourne District Council, SELB NAMES Project, Children in Need, Voluntary Services International Dublin, The Confederation of Community Groups, The DSD Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and of course the many hours of voluntary input from our committee members.”
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