The attractive ‘Wendy House’ type bus shelter at Killicomaine estate – reported in last week’s Portadown Times – is a result of the hard work of two dedicated youth workers, Keith McCann and Nigel Duke.
We posed the question – who-dun-it? - when the former dowdy brick construction appeared in the main square, totally transformed into a ‘house’ with stonework, windows, doors and floral decorations, bearing the message ‘One life, one chance, live it’.
It was, said Keith, a project backed by the community, and prompted by the 11 kids they lead through the faith-based ‘Fuse Youth’ charity project which has made such a difference in the estate. Keith and Nigel have been working the project for four years, concentrating their efforts on 12 different youngsters every year, enriching their lives and that of the area.
“It’s a practical Christian detached youth project,” said Nigel. “We include weekly football, visits to places like the Belfast Odyssey to see the Giants, we had a sponsored walk recently and raised £850 for a new football kit, and have summer trips. For example, we went go-kart racing to Markethill last Friday and had a great time.”
The ‘new’ bus shelter was a project that included the kids, the leaders, the community and the borough council – all working together to improve the square which is the centre-piece of the estate. And the youngsters thought up the ‘One Life’ slogan on the wall.
They worked on the design, aided and abetted by Belfast artist Tim McCarthy of ‘Re-ink-our-nation’ and they all set to work to paint the edifice and transform it – much to the delight of the estate, the bus users and the elderly residents.
The Killicomaine Residents Group pitched in and the planning permission work was helped by the borough council, especially Councillors Darryn Causby and Alan Carson.
The group presented a DVD plea to the council for a new MUGA football pitch, which is now taking shape close to the community centre at Festival Road.