"Clear and Drear"

"November's sky is chill and drear, November's leaf is red and sear." - Sir Walter Scott. It's an old poem, but still very applicable these days as the last month of Autumn sees Winter begin nipping at its heels. However, amid the dull, cold, and wet weather is plenty of warmth as the Ballymena South Groups start to bundle up for the months ahead.

We'll start here in Ballee this month, with the Ballee 60+ Luncheon Club eagerly awaiting the upcoming Christmas celebrations. Looking back since our last update, the Club has been enjoying a range of new activities, some lively music and even a wonderful visit from our local Dog's Trust. Many of them were also attendees at the Flower Arranging class that has now ended, with a new Thursday Craft Group tentatively being tried out in its place. There has also been the return of the Youth Group on Monday nights which is getting back into the swing of things.

Over in Ballykeel there's been some excitement this month. Ballykeel 1 Moving Forward has celebrated its 7th Anniversary with a look back at everything they've achieved this year, which is a substantial list. Now they are looking forward to their upcoming Craft Fair to support their Fibro and ME support group, and some very exciting Christmas events that are well in the works. For Ballykeel 2 and District Community Group, they're busy with the return of their very successful Parent and Tots Group, Building Blocks, who took a short break for the half-term. They are also working in partnership with Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Rodney Beggs from The Music Rooms and PCSP to deliver a six-week 'Ballykeel Makes Music' programme for young people, as well as the commencement of their Ladies Self-Defence classes.

Finally, we come to Harryville, which has been buzzing away with activity as always. The Harryville Residents Association has been continuing with their successful 'Big Clean-up Saturdays' and while their walking group has gone into hibernation for the winter, there is a new community choir coming together. They've also recently held a community drop-in event so that members of the public can have a chance to get in touch with their representatives. In the Men's Shed, work is well underway for the wooden Christmas trees that they make every year, though they also took some time out to make a good haul of small bird feeders for the Carson Project, who used them during their Children's Activity Day that looked to be a big hit! The Carson Project's Women's Group has been enjoying some Laughter Yoga and held an evening of Remembrance for women who served. Harryville Partnership's Braidwater Senior's Group have held a very successful Macmillan Coffee Morning where they raised £325 for the charity, they also have begun their own round of Flower Arranging where it looks like everyone is having a good time!

There's also a small update from here at the Ballymena South Community Cluster team where we've joined up with the Northern Regional College to set up a free OCN Level One Award in Skincare and Makeup that's been going strong. We also might be working on a few other things in the background, so keep an eye on our Facebook page! For more information about our Cluster Community activities or if you have any questions, please contact Hannah on 02825 631 350 or email hello@ballymenasouth.com.

“Hi, I'm Hannah, I encourage you to reach out and get in touch”
— Hannah Bowyer
Community Development Officer (CDO) Get in Touch
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