As part of Translink’s commitment to work with local communities around the Weavers Cross site a volunteering project, delivered in partnership with Lendlease Foundation Community Day, was completed at Arellian Nursery School at Blythefield Park.
The Arellian Nursery School is the oldest nursery school in Ireland and caters for 60 pupils every year from the Sandy Row and Donegall Road communities. The school was founded in 1928 and is about to celebrate their 90th anniversary.
The school’s facilities are widely used by the local communities, including Blythefiled Primary School and Donegall Road Primary Schools P1 & P2’s, Surestart Mums and Tots group, Parents groups and for the annual July Summer Club which caters for 4 to 8 year olds from the surrounding areas.
Hard-working volunteers completed a rapid turn-around in which the school’s nursery garden was restored and ready for use, after having recently been closed due to wooden structures being condemned.
The team of 40 volunteers spent three days removing rotten wood, provided a deep clean-up of the garden, painted garden features and power-washed toys and furniture to leave the nursery garden in a safe condition for the children to enjoy when they start nursery school in September.
Translink Group Chief Executive Chris Conway said,
“As part of Translink’s commitment to build strong relationships with our local neighbours through the ‘Go- Together’ strategy, we brought our employees, stakeholders and local communities together to enhance the space, safety, well-being and environment for the pupils, staff and parents of the Arellian Nursery School.
“One of the over-arching aims of the Belfast Transport Hub project is to improve the quality of life and opportunities for people who already live, work and study in the area. The project is committed to working within local communities towards a shared vision.
“This volunteering project, although small in scale, demonstrates that commitment and what can be achieved when we work together”.
“Throughout the construction of the Belfast Transport Hub and beyond, Translink is committed to meaningful engagement. Translink will continue to work with local communities on a range of initiatives to maximise the community benefits that will stem from the project”.
Jenny Pogue, Head Teacher at Arellian Nursery School said,
“We are completely blown away by what the Belfast Transport Hub and Translink volunteers have achieved in a couple of days. We cannot thank Translink enough for the difference that their kind donation and actions have made to our school environment.
“The work the volunteers have carried out is significant and essential to our outdoor learning area – this work simply could not be afforded by the schools’ budget.
“All of our pupils come from the Sandy Row and Donegall Road community. These are inner city communities and have limited access to safe, green and welcoming spaces to play. This places further importance and emphasis on the available, outside space we provide.
“Our nursery garden is a vital community space and often a life changing resource, not only for our pupils but for other schools and community groups which use our outside facilities on a daily basis.
“We’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Translink and the Belfast Transport Hub volunteers for the amazing and generous work they carried out this summer.”