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Glenariffe Community Welcomes The Great Big Walk

13 June 2017

The Great Big Walk is an initiative from the Eden Project made possible with funding from the National Lottery. Glenariffe community volunteers welcomed The Great Big Walk on Monday 5th June.

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The Northern Ireland walkers are part of a team of fifteen volunteers walking round the UK to shine a light on the work volunteers do bringing people together to keep communities alive.






Great Big Walk photo 1

After a 5-hour hike over the Garron Plateau from St Killian’s College to Glenariffe Forest Park, the two Northern Ireland walkers, Olivia Cosgrove and Noel Johnston, met volunteers from several local groups including Glenariffe Oisins CLG hurling club, Friends of Glenariffe, Glenariffe Improvement Group,Glens Red Squirrel Group and Antrim Glens Tourism.


“The range of community projects going on here is amazing”. Olivia said. “Local volunteers are doing really great work bringing local people of all ages together and making a really positive impact on the community.”


Great Big Walk photo 4Next stop was the Oisins CLG hurling field to see the local Under 10s and Under 12s in action. The walkers were presented with hurls and a sliothar and invited on to the pitch to give the game a go. Olivia and Noel then met up with the Friends of Glenariffe Committee to hear how the community has raised over £220k from local events and initiatives to contribute towards the cost of building a Community and Recreation Centre. The new Centre build project is now underway as Friends of Glenariffe have secured funding of £350,000 from The Big Lottery Funded Space & Place programme and £180,000 from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.


“Community projects play such an important role in making communities stronger, especially in rurally isolated places, said Noel. “Once the new Glenariffe Community and Recreation Centre is up and running, the positive impact of having a community hub will be even greater.”


Other community initiatives taking place on the day of walkers visit included Glenariffe Improvement Group’s weekly Over 50s Lunch Club, the Community Beach Café and Oisins Fun N Fit, Glenariffe’s annual 7-week, community fitness programme.  

“The Great Big Walk NI team’s visit to Glenariffe during Volunteers’ Week was very timely,” commented Friends of Glenariffe Chair, Myra Murray. “We too would like to acknowledge all our local volunteers who work so tirelessly throughout the year to help make our events a success.  We hope Olivia and Noel will come back and celebrate the opening of our new Community and Recreation Centre with us next year.”

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