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To mark Harvest month this October and as part of Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is giving local schools the opportunity to win all they need to grow their own produce.

With some of the best producers and growers based in the Lisburn & Castlereagh area, Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is keen to encourage the next generation of talented growers and is calling on green-fingered local pupils to submit a poem about the importance of Harvest.

This initiative is intended to broaden children’s understanding of agriculture and to promote healthy eating options with a balanced fruit and vegetable-filled. Growing fruit and vegetables in the garden at your school is a fantastic way to demonstrate the link between the food we eat, the seasons and the land.

Participating schools will have the chance to win a set of allotments, enabling pupils to fully immerse themselves in the harvest season. The prize includes two wooden allotment frames, soil, seeds, guides and a visit from an experienced gardener who will host an educational lesson on planting and tending.

Cllr. Uel Mackin, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh’s Economic Development Committee, explained the benefits of instilling this interest at a young age.

“I would encourage all local schools to reach out and get involved in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council Harvest Competition. The aim is to encourage the younger generation to get involved in, and fully appreciate, the process of growing, harvesting and eating fruit and vegetables.”

“Those involved will reap the benefits of seeing first-hand how their hard work and care can produce an array of fruit and vegetables. It will be exciting process to chart the progress of each allotment and see local school children’s hard work come to fruition,” added Cllr. Uel Mackin.

To be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize for their school, pupils are requested to submit a poem around the theme of Harvest to a select panel of judges.

To enter, simply submit your harvest-themed poem by Friday, October 21st to LCCC Harvest Competition, C/O Rumour Mill PR, First Floor Cranmore House, 611A Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7GT or email



1505123Leading arts venue, the MAC, is calling upon Lisburn businesses to sign up to its ‘Give the Gift of Theatre’ initiative to enable four local primary schools – Forthill Integrated Primary, Brownlee Primary, Ballycarrickmaddy Primary and Beechlawn School – to experience a special trip to the theatre this year.

Some 3,500 school children will visit the MAC’s Christmas production of Pinocchio, starting in November. However, the cost of travel for these schools can be a burden and many schools simply can’t afford to come. That’s why the MAC launched its innovative ‘Passport to the MAC’ programme, which provides schools, such as Forthill Integrated Primary, Brownlee Primary, Ballycarrickmaddy Primary and Beechlawn Schol, with a bursary towards travel expenditure.  As a charity, the MAC is calling on Lisburn businesses to support the scheme by donating £350 towards travel costs for one of the above nominated schools in their area this Christmas.

Anne McReynolds, Chief Executive at the MAC added: “This scheme was created in order to give schools support with additional costs associated with taking their pupils to the theatre.  We know that often the barriers for schools come down to pounds and pence and as the MAC has been designed for all the people of Northern Ireland, we want to actively enable as many young children as possible to experience the magic and transformative power of the arts.

“I would actively encourage any local business who usually buy Christmas cards or makes a charity donation on behalf of its staff, to this year consider the MAC charity and help us to support school children in their neighbourhood.”

To take part in the ‘Give the Gift of Theatre’ initiative businesses are invited to sign up to make their donation by contacting Melissa McMinn at the MAC on 028 90892966 or email

For all press enquiries, please contact Samantha Livingstone at Rumour Mill PR on 028 90682185 or email

Notes to Editors:

  • Businesses are asked to donate £350 (or more!) towards the school’s transport costs.
  • The MAC will match the business with a school
  • There will be a PR opportunity for each business to promote the story on their website and social media channels
  • The following schools require support:
    1. The Thompson PS, Ballyrobert
    2. Ballyvester PS, Donaghadee
    3. Forthill PS, Lisburn
    4. Brownlee PS, Lisburn
    5. Tir Na Nog, Ballyclare
    6. Beechlawn School, Hillsborough
    7. Ballycarrickmaddy PS, Lisburn
    8. Fairview PS, Ballyclare
    9. Recarson PS, Omagh
    10. Rathmore PS, Bangor
    11. Kings Park PS, Newtownabbey
    12. Culnady PS, Maghera