Charity nets a sensory garden

VOLUNTEERS from the Princes Trust have been hard at work this week creating a new sensory garden for Dromore based charity Angling First.

Workers from the organisation selected the local charity as the one they wanted to help to bring their project to life. Both organisations are involved in giving young people a better start in life.

Mark McGivern, of Angling First, explained how the idea of the sensory garden first developed.He said Angling First began as a children’s charity but started to become involved with older people and people with mental health problems.

Not all those who come along want to spend their time fishing, but some wanted to sit outdoors and ‘reflect’.

“The sensory garden comprises 55 metres of walk with a planted area where people can sit and reflect,” explained Mark, who has been involved with the charity for five years.

“Angling First came about more or less by accident than by design. This year alone we have been in contact with 700 young people and 200 adults from all over Northern Ireland.

“The kids that we work with are mostly from deprived areas. Once again this year we are the biggest distributors of rods, licences and permits to young people.”

Mark is a well-known face around the district as he regularly holds collections in towns throughout the area and was collecting in Banbridge last weekend. Angling First is financed by donations from the general public.

The Princes Trust is a UK charity that helps young people overcome barriers and get their lives working.

Through practical support including training, mentoring and financial assistance, they help 14-30 year olds realise their potential and transform their lives.

They focus their efforts on those who've struggled at school, been in care, been in trouble with the law, or are long-term unemployed.