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Cloughmills continues to provide for its rural community with help from Housing Executive

Pictured at the Old Mill, volunteers from Cloughmills Community Action Team and the Men’s Shed showing us the results of their handy work on receipt of funding from the Housing Executive. From left to right are: Sam Irvine, Linda Jane Thompson, Housing Executive Neighbourhood Warden, Jim Simpson, Mandy McElreavay, seated, and Jim Whitten.

Many of us have been working hard during the pandemic, and with funding from the Housing Executive, Cloughmills Community Action Team have been able to reach out and keep in touch with rural residents in the area.

Cloughmills Community Action Team is a volunteer led charity that has carried out some amazing work in the community over the past number of years.

It has regenerated the buildings and grounds of the old flax scutching mill in the village, providing a much needed base for a wide range of community activities that everyone can be part of.

With support from the Housing Executive’s community grants programme, it ran a virtual ‘women in the garden’ course during lockdown last spring, providing a series of tutored online ‘zoom’ sessions over a six week period. The group enjoyed the chance to do something during lockdown, and set up their own social media group to support each other.

At the end of the course the participants got to meet each other in person at a socially distanced outdoor session at the Mill.

Their ‘women in the garden’ course has allowed them to continue growing a variety of vegetables and fruits at the Mill that the community can enjoy.

Folding tables were also purchased that could be used indoors and outdoors for a variety of craft activities. This spurred them on to start another group, learning and developing skills in willow weaving using willow grown locally at the community garden. Some of the tools for the weaving were also made in the Men’s Shed at the mill.

Patrick Frew, Chair of Cloughmills Community Action Team, said:

“We are grateful to the Housing Executive for their continued support with our community development initiatives which are vital in helping rural communities like ours to combat rural isolation, especially during the pandemic.”

Housing Executive Neighbourhood Warden, Linda Jane Thompson, was at the Mill this week to see the great work continuing at the community site. She said:

“The Housing Executive is very proud that our continued support and funding has helped Cloughmills Community Action Team develop such a beautiful community hub for the whole community to enjoy.

“Alongside the allotments and activities that everyone can take part in, this will be a community landmark for generations to come. Well done to everyone involved.”

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