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Portadown young people help to spruce up Daisy Lodge

Participants from a Portadown youth programme have collaborated with Portadown Wellness Centre to make a meaningful impact at Daisy Lodge in Co. Down.

The group from Edgarstown Residents Association’s Personal Youth Development Programme (PYDP), an International Fund for Ireland funded programme, took part in a social action project for Daisy Lodge – a purpose-built therapeutic centre located in Newcastle for families across the island of Ireland affected by cancer.

Jordan Russell, PYDP Youth Officer, said: “Last spring, PYDP participants worked in partnership with Portadown Wellness Centre to participate in a social action project where participants built beautiful hexagonal planters that were donated to Daisy Lodge. This initiative brought new life to the surroundings through painting, planting, and rejuvenation.

“Given the success of this project, we were delighted that Alan McDowell from Portadown Wellness Centre approached us this year again and generously provided the necessary materials including plants, compost and paint, which enabled our young people to travel back to Newcastle to undertake various tasks to help transform the outdoor space into vibrant and inviting areas for relaxation and healing.”

Under the experience of Alan, Portadown Wellness Centre’s Manager, wooden planters were given a fresh coat of paint, breathing new life into the surroundings.

Flowering plants and shrubs were carefully planted, adding bursts of colour and tranquillity to the landscape which was generously donated by Empower Garden Centre.

A general spruce up ensured that Daisy Lodge continues to provide a peaceful sanctuary for children and families facing the challenges of cancer.

Alan stated: “I was delighted when I was contacted by Daisy Lodge to ask if the young team who made the beautiful wooden planters for them last year would return and freshen up the planters for the summer.

“In spite of the rain, the team gave the planters a fresh coat of stain and then planted the containers with a mixture of stylish perennial and annual plants.

Portadown Wellness Centre and Edgarstown Residents Association are committed to working in collaboration to empower our young people and demonstrate the feel good factor of making a positive contribution to the community.”

Jodie Harvey, one of the participants, said: “We were thrilled to be a part of this project and contribute to such a meaningful cause. It’s not just about painting and planting – it’s about making a difference and brightening someone’s day.”

PYDP seeks to connect young people aged 16 – 25 years to personalised learning, skills and employment opportunities with a central focus on good relations and preparing them for the world of work.

The programme engages with young people who face a range of issues including; leaving the education system early; substance abuse; affected by homelessness; difficult family backgrounds; been in or close to criminal justice system; suffer from poor mental health; mistrust of statutory institutions; not participated in civic society in a positive manner; and come from communities with a negative view of their future.

PYDP encourages participants to explore their needs and make decisions that improve their lives, communities and interactions with others.

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