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22 Jan

As part of the ‘Connected’ Community Plan for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, the Get Moving ABC Partners (Council, Education, Health and Community Volunteer Sector) have developed a Get Moving ABC Framework.  This exciting new collective plan is designed to positively impact the health and wellbeing of the people living in our Borough by ‘Getting Everyone Moving’, with a focus on communities, workplaces and schools.

In a recent report the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) said that ‘if physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure, due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and help treat.’ In the latest guidelines (2019) it is recommended that children 1-5 years should have at least 3 hours of movement per day, with older children and those under 18 aiming for at least 1 hour of physical activity per day.  For adults, the aim should be at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week.  With physical inactivity a global problem the CMO has some simple messages:

  • Some is good, more is better
  • Make a start today, it’s never too late
  • Every minute counts

To ensure we have optimum impact and achieve the vision of ‘Get Everyone Moving’ we will need everyone’s commitment to help us become the most physically active borough in Northern Ireland.

We are dedicated to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to tell us what they think and we are committed to listening. If you currently participate or don’t participate in physical activity we want to hear from you.  We are particular keen to hear from groups of people that are currently under-represented in sport and physical activity, for example females, people with a disability, those on low income and those from rural areas and would like to find out what would encourage you to participate.

Two public consultations sessions have been arranged for Tuesday 11 February 2020 at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre.  An afternoon session has been organised from 2.30 – 4.30pm with an evening session from 6.30 – 8.30pm.  Booking is essential as places at each session are limited.

For further information on the Get Moving ABC Framework contact Gillian Dewart, Sports Development Manager on

Book your space for the public consultation:

16 Jan

Orchard Leisure Centre staff raise £2650 for Cancer Focus NI in honour of Margaret Farrell.

Pictured are members of staff from the Orchard Leisure Centre presenting Louise Richardson from Cancer Focus Northern Ireland with a cheque for £2650.

The money was raised from 3 fundraising events, Armagh Road Race in October, a 12 hour Spinathon in November and a Coffee Morning in December, all of these were in honour of their esteemed colleague Margaret Farrell who lost her battle with cancer in October last year.

Margaret was a wonderful kind person who worked for the Council for 45 years, she is sadly missed by all of her colleagues.

13 Jan

Come along to Lough Neagh Discovery Centre on Sunday 19th January 2020 and join the Conservation Service Team as we prepare for this year’s RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch!

Enjoy a range of bird-based activities indoors learning about our common garden birds, how to identify those coming to your garden and tips on how to feed the birds and keep them healthy during the winter months.

Take a walk with our knowledgeable guides on to the Nature Reserve (weather dependent) visiting one of our nearby bird watching hides to spot our magnificent winter visitors and charming woodland birds. The bird watching walks will commence at 12.30pm and 2pm.  Staff will be on hand to give you advice on completing the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch during the weekend of 25th and 26th January 2020.

The RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, the world’s biggest wildlife survey, takes place throughout the UK on Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th and Monday 27th January 2020 and is the perfect opportunity to spend time watching the feathered friends visiting your garden.  Simply count the maximum number of each type of bird seen at once over 60 minutes at any time over the weekend, then let the RSPB know what has been spotted.  If you don’t have a garden, using your local park as your count zone is an acceptable alternative. Visit https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch for information on how to submit your results.

This is a FREE event and booking is not required. Contact Lough Neagh Discovery Centre 028 3832 2205 for further information.

*Please note, nuts may be used during this event therefore it may not be suitable for those with nut allergies. Suitable outdoor clothing will be required for the walk part of the event.

13 Jan
The Met Office has issued a Yellow warning for wind, valid from Monday 13 January, 1000hrs until 2359hrs.

As advised by the Met Office potential impacts are:

  • Some delays to road, rail, air and ferry transport expected, particularly for high-sided vehicles on exposed routes and bridges
  • Some bus and train services affected, with some journeys taking longer
  • Coastal routes, sea fronts and coastal communities affected by spray and/or large waves
  • Some short term loss of power and other services

Facility Closures & disruption

The public are advised to avoid forest and country parks due to the risk of falling branches & debris.  A number of play parks may also be effected.

Closed to the public today (Monday 13 January)

Recycling Centres:

  • Banbridge Recycling Centre
  • Dromore Recycling Centre
  • Rathfrliand Recycling Centre

Public Parks:

  • Gosford Forest Park
  • Lurgan Park
  • Loughgall Country Park (walking routes)
  • Poradown People’s Park
  • Solitude Park, Banbridge
  • Tannaghmore Gardens

Please note: There may be further disruption to council facilities including parks and open spaces.  The public are reminded to monitor the Met Office forecasts for their area and to be aware of the weather conditions and safety warnings.

Emergency numbers

You should note the following numbers in case of emergency:

  • Emergency services – 999 or 112
  • Flooding Incident Line – 0300 2000 100
  • Northern Ireland Electricity Networks – 03457 643 643
  • Report a fallen tree or blocked road – 0300 200 7891
  • NI Gas Emergency Service – 0800 002 001
  • Northern Ireland Water Waterline – 03457 440 088
  • Housing Executive – 03448 920 901

Refuse Collections

Helpful advice during high winds

To help prevent litter and keep our borough tidy, please follow these tips during strong winds:

  • Put your refuse collection bin(s) / boxes out on the morning of collection – please try not to leave your recycling out the night before
  • To prevent refuse collection bin(s) / boxes from blowing away, please bring them back in as soon as you can after collections have taken place
  • If your recycling containers are only half-full and you can manage, please consider waiting until your next scheduled collection day when the weather may be calmer to leave them out or bring them to one of the Council’s Recycling Centres
  • If you have a kerbside box, please use a lid to stop your recycling from blowing out
  • Please ensure that all of your refuse fits in your bin and that the lid can close. If the lid is up, the wind may catch it and blow waste around your neighbourhood

Thank you for recycling and for helping to keep your neighbourhood clean and tidy.

Roads information

You can access the latest updates about roads at this link:

More info found at: https://www.armaghbanbridgecraigavon.gov.uk/weather-warning-stormbrendan/ 

 

10 Dec
A new five year Infant Mental Health Strategy has been launched in the Southern area. The strategy represents a commitment by statutory, voluntary and community organisations to promote positive infant mental health from the ante natal period through to children aged three years of age.At a stakeholder engagement event in May 2019, representatives from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors shared their thoughts and ideas to help the working group to develop the strategy which follows three key themes – ‘Evidence and Policy’, ‘Workforce Development’ and ‘Service Development’.

150 people representing these organisations attended the launch event.

Speaking at ‘Good Beginnings’ Strategy launch, Shane Devlin, Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:

“Evidence clearly shows just how critical the first three years of a child’s life are in terms of their development. Early childhood experiences and relationships between the child and their parents have such a major impact on positive emotional and mental health throughout life.

“While being a parent is very rewarding it can also be demanding and some families can face additional challenges like premature births, domestic violence, mental health difficulties or drug and alcohol misuse.

“We want to ensure that all children have the best start in life by promoting positive, social and emotional wellbeing. That is why it is so important that services work together with families to prevent difficulties and provide support at the earliest possible stage when needed.

Dawn Cannon, Director of Training and Education for the UK Association for Infant Mental Health and keynote speaker at the launch, emphasised the importance of prioritising infant mental health and how research and training maximises the opportunity for positive healthy development and mental health throughout life.

A cross sectoral Southern Area Infant Mental Health Strategic Group will now be established to ensure that the strategy is implemented across the locality.

Find the full strategy and summary along with translated versions at www.southerntrust.hscni.net/services/4302.htm

04 Dec

Come and visit the Christmas Wonderland at Edenvilla Park, Portadown from Tuesday 3rd December 2019 until Sunday 5th January 2020.

Opening times Monday to Friday 9am – 4.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4.30pm (Closed on 24th, 25th, 26th Dec and 1st Jan).

FREE OF CHARGE to visit but you can make a donation to the Lord Mayor’s Charity which is Cancer Fund for Children.

For more details, contact David Mayers at or
028 3831 2597.

04 Dec

FREE Tai Chi classes will be taking place in Banbridge Leisure Centre starting on Monday 6th January until Monday 23rd March 2020 from 2.30pm -3.30pm.

Tai Chi for health is a series of relaxed, gentle movements that can improve fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, balance and reduce the risk of falling.

Tai Chi for Health is particularly beneficial for people with arthritis, however anyone can enjoy the health benefits of the programme.

To book a place please contact Cathy Devlin on Tel: 028 3831 2533 or email
Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment

29 Nov

Nominations are now being accepted for the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Senior Sports Awards sponsored by Rushmere Shopping Centre.

Organised by the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum in association with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, these annual awards recognise the wealth of sporting talent in the borough and celebrate the achievements of those who have excelled in their chosen sport, as well as recognising the invaluable contribution from our coaches and volunteers.

The awards, which are being held on Thursday 19 March in Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre, were recently launched at Rushmere Shopping Centre, Craigavon by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Mealla Campbell, the Headline Sponsor, Martin Walsh from Rushmere Shopping Centre, along with Edith Jamison, Chair of the Sports Forum and Denise Watson, compere for the awards.

Speaking at the launch the Lord Mayor commented, “I am delighted to officially launch the Senior Sports Awards 2020 for the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough.  The event provides a fantastic opportunity for us as a council to acknowledge and reward the success of our athletes, teams, coaches, clubs and volunteers who deserve the recognition for all their hard work. I am also delighted that Rushmere Shopping Centre are once again headline sponsor for this event and look forward to another night of celebrating the exceptional talent in our Borough.”

Martin Walsh, Manager of Rushmere Shopping Centre said ‘We are proud to sponsor the Senior Sports Awards that acknowledge and support the achievements of those who dedicate their talent and enthusiasm to sport.  We are committed to our local communities and it is hugely encouraging to see such a multitude of sporting disciplines and activities represented by so many people across the towns, villages and rural communities of an area so highly regarded for its passion and sporting heritage.  By sharing our success stories, these awards can only serve to encourage others to follow in their footsteps and we are excited for what the future holds.’

Nominations are sought in the eight categories of Sports Person with a Disability, Sportswoman, Sportsman, Senior Team, Club Coach, Service to Sport, Volunteer and Club of the Year. Nominees should be competing at County/Regional level or above for achievements between January – December 2019 and must be over 18 at the time of competition. Specific details for each category can be found on the nomination form.

Nomination forms are now available from all council leisure and community facilities across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area. The nomination form can also be downloaded at the following link, SSA Nomination Form 2020

The Sport Forum also offer financial support to help athletes, coaches and sports clubs from the Borough to attain their full potential.  Athletes who are competing at provincial level and above can apply for assistance to assist with the costs associated with training and competing. Clubs can apply for financial assistance towards Clubmark Accreditation, Volunteer Development, Grant Aid for Coaches & Umpires/Referees and Representative Sporting Clubs.  Criteria applies to all of the grants offered and forms can be downloaded from the getactiveabc website at www.getactiveabc.com.

Completed forms must be returned to Anne Benson, Senior Sports Awards, Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, Lurgan BT66 6NJ before 12 noon on Friday 3 January 2020.

For further information contact the Sports Development Department on T: 028 3752 9636 (Armagh) T: 028 4066 0637 (Banbridge) and T: 028 3831 1693 (Craigavon).

26 Nov

Orchard Leisure Centre

23rd December –  9.15am – 5.00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27 December – 9:15am – 5:00pm

28-29th December – Normal hours

30th-31st December – 9.15am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Cascades Leisure Complex

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

28th December – 10.00am – 4.00pm

29th December – Closed

30th-31st December – 9.00am -5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Craigavon Leisure Centre

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

28th December – 9:00am – 4pm

29th December – 2.00pm – 5.00pm

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Waves Leisure Complex

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

28th December – 8:30am – 4:30pm

29th December – Closed

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Banbridge Leisure Centre

20th December –  7:00am – 9:00am & 5.30pm – 10:00pm

21st-22nd December –  Normal Hours

23rd December –  9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

28-29th December – Normal Hours

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Craigavon Golf & Ski Centre

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th-31st December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

1st January – Closed

Lough Neagh Discovery Centre

23rd December – 10:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th-31st December – 10:00am – 5:00pm

1st January – Closed

Kinnego Marina Office

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th-31st December 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January Closed

Oxford Island Site

23rd-24th December – 8.00am -5.00pm

25th December – Closed

26th December-1st January – 8.00am – 5.00pm

Tannaghmore Farm

23rd-24th December –  10.00am – 4.00pm

25th December – Closed

26th December-1st January – 10.00am – 4.00pm

Ardmore & Cathedral Road Recreation Centre

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27-29th December – Normal hours

30th December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

31st December – Normal hours

1st January – Closed

Keady & Tandragee Recreation Centres

23rd December –  9.00am – 5.00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27-28th December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Dromore Community Centre

23rd December –  9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

28-29th December  – Normal Hours

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Rathfriland Community Centre

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

28th December – Normal Hours

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Gilford Community Centre

23rd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

24-26th December – Closed

27th December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

28-29th December – Normal Hours

30th-31st December – 9.00am – 5.00pm

1st January – Closed

Richhill Recreation Centre

23rd December – Normal hours

24-26th December – Closed

27th-31st December – Normal hours

1st January – Closed

Public Parks - Craigavon area

24th-31st December – 7.00am – 6.00pm

1st January – 7.00am – 6.00pm

Navan Centre

23rd-31st December –  Closed

1st January – Closed

Loughgall Country Park

23rd December – Normal hours

24-26th December – Closed

27th-31st December – Normal hours

1st January – Open

Gosford Forest Park

24th-31st December: Open

1st January: Open

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