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The most visible manifestation sofar of the ongoing collaboration between the Lincoln Court and Clooney communities was the recent ‘Communities Connecting’ festival, which took place at the start of last month in the grounds of Ebrington Primary School.

The fun family event was attended by over 1,500 people over three days.

But the ‘Communities Connecting’ project extends far beyond that summer festival, hugely successful though it was.

In fact it’s a year long programme of events and activities and community participation which involves the Clooney Estate Residents Association and Lincoln Courts Youth and Community Association in partnership with other areas in the Greater Waterside area to promote and develop community inclusion throughout the Waterside.

Led by Don McClay and Betty O’Reilly and the staff, volunteers and users of the respective Lincoln Court and Clooney community centres, it will continue to build links in the heart of the Waterside right up until next March.

Following the success of the festival the community associations ran two weeks of family oriented trips (14th – 24th July) which proved equally successful and saw over 800 participants travel to numerous venues across the province and County Donegal.

Mr McClay explained: “The project will attempt to develop a programme of activities throughout the year that meets gaps in current service provision and which makes the best use of facilities in the area, that encourages interaction between residents, builds better community relations and increases the capacity and the willingness of community organisations in the Greater Waterside area to work in partnership.

“The programme will include Community Cafés in both Lincoln Courts and Clooney community Centres.

“A Positive Parenting Programme, Older People’s Provision, which will include monthly trips and excursions and Christmas dinner dance, Monthly Family trips and excursions, Halloween, Christmas and Easter Youth and younger children’s programmes and an Adult Education programme to suit anyone with time to spare to indulge in a hobby or learn something new, will also be rolled out.

“This new and exciting project will run until March 2016 and will be in addition to the services already provided by each area.

“A monthly newsletter will be available to highlight all activities for each month.”

Prior to the events above children from the Clooney and Lincoln Courts Youth Clubs also rebuilt the city walls ahead of The Playhouse’s recent Siege commission, ‘Walking to the Ark,’ which ran in May.

The project was organised by the Siege Museum and facilitated by the Playhouse, Clooney Junior Youth Club and Lincoln Courts Junior Youth Club.

The children took part in special arts and crafts workshops with set designer from The Playhouse Phil Ruddock last week.

For more pictures of recent trips and activities as part of ‘Communities Connecting’ turn to Page 21.