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Burnvale Crescent Cookstown held its Halloween event the 30th of October 2019. Prior to the event we held a pumpkin carving workshop for 20 children from within Burnvale and the wider Cookstown area. Tesco in Cookstown donated 20 pumpkins for the children to carve and take home with them which were placed on their door steps to help build a community atmosphere in the run up to the main Halloween event.
The Burnvale Resident's Association approached the residents for a small donation towards the cost of purchasing bunting and props. These were then used to decorate the housing development in the days ahead of the event. Households were encouraged to decorate their homes and the event slowly became a real community initiative with a spooky graveyard and a pumpkin gazebo.
On the night of the event there were over 150 people in attendance. We supplied swing boats, bouncy castles disco dome, tea cups and chip van. The chair of the Burnvale residents association provided the music. The residents and wider community really enjoyed themselves and have built up positive relationships. The feedback on the night was so positive with comments like: Brilliant cross community event, great to see families out enjoying themselves together and one elderly gentleman said it reminded him of what a community was.
Some of the comments from our evaluation sheets were:
· I had so much fun at the Halloween party playing with my friends and neighbours.
· I really enjoyed all the activities and music.
· I had fun with my family and feel very lucky I got to be here.
· I enjoyed the bouncy castles and spooky graveyard
Events like these are important in building relationships among neighbours and also among the wider community. Allowing the residents to have an input in the development of these events gives them ownership of the event, builds their confidence and gives them a sense of pride in what they have achieved.
Burnvale Crescent is a Shared Housing scheme. The Shared Housing Programme is delivered as part of the Executive Office’s Together: Building A United Community Strategy, supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.
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