Classrooms at St. Joseph’s Primary School, off the Grosvenor Road, have been given a new lease of life after Translink’s Belfast Transport Hub volunteers teamed up with Arcadis UK for a Community Day project.
As part of Translink’s commitment to work with local communities around the planned Belfast Transport Hub and wider Weavers Cross site, a team of 30 volunteers cleaned up the grounds of the primary school and painted several classrooms, which will be ready when the children return after the Halloween mid-term break.
As well as catering to 290 pupils, the facilities at St. Joseph’s Primary School are also a hub of activity for the local community, regularly used by local residents from the Grosvenor road area, local nursery schools, the Grosvenor Recreation centre, St. Peter’s Immaculata Youth Club and Sona Sports.
St. Joseph’s Primary School is also the first school in Northern Ireland to achieve the ‘National Nurturing School Award’ for demonstrating exemplary practice in embedding a nurturing culture throughout the school environment.
Duncan McAllister, Belfast Transport Hub, Senior Programme Manager said: “We’re delighted to have brought our Community Day project to St. Josephs Primary School. The Belfast Transport Hub project is fully committed to building strong relationships, working and growing with the communities that our project will serve.
“The Belfast Transport Hub volunteers received a very warm welcome from the school, we hope our efforts will make a positive impact and continue to add to the nurturing and learning environment for pupils, staff and members of the community who use these essential facilities.
“As we invest in and build a new, purpose built transport facility, we are working hard to ensure that local communities and those who already live, work and study in the area, can benefit from the many employment, training and supply chain opportunities that will stem from the Belfast Transport Hub project”.
Duncan concluded: “Engaging with local communities in this way, allows us to collaborate, listen to the aspirations of our near neighbours, establish trust and allows us to shape and build a shared vision for the Belfast Transport Hub and the surrounding communities”.
Mairead Weir, St. Josephs School Principal said: “On behalf of everyone at St. Joseph’s, I extend heartfelt thanks to the volunteers from Translink and Belfast Transport Hub for their very kind donation of time and resources to transform our senior classrooms and the grounds around the school.
“It is well known that there is a lot of pressure on school budgets, so much so that some of our classrooms had not been painted in over 25 years. The worked carried out by these volunteers will have a hugely positive impact on our senior pupils and teachers when they return from their midterm break.
“We’re delighted that the Belfast Transport Hub project is going to such efforts to engage with the local community and it is extremely positive that we are building a relationship with a vital employer, which will provide a rich source of employment for years to come.
“We hope that the Belfast Transport Hub and broader Weavers Cross project will attract many local young people to employment in the area which will help drive our local economy and ultimately help transform our local communities.
“A massive thank you to each and every one of the Translink and Belfast Transport Hub volunteers for supporting our school, they did a fantastic job”.
Gareth Thomas, Director at Arcadis, said:
“Our mission and ethos at Arcadis centres around improving quality of life, and it’s been great to be able to demonstrate this by getting involved with the Community Day project at St Josephs Primary School and working with the Grosvenor Community Forum.
“Arcadis are delighted to be working with Translink to deliver the Belfast Transport Hub, we’re providing a world-class gateway for the city, with better connections for the people of Northern Ireland right across the country.
“While we’ll be creating new jobs and investment opportunities, it’s also essential that local people can enjoy the immediate benefits that come from increased investment. “Working with the local community is so important and integral to what we do, and it’s through projects like the Community Day that we can really start to see the positive impact our work has day-to-day.”