Gallaun In Downpatrick Celebrates With More Plantings

Gallaun Residents in Downpatrick Celebrate Busy Summer with a Flourish of Planting

Gallaun Residents in Downpatrick Celebrate Busy Summer with a Flourish of Planting

Back row (l-r), Gillian Orr, Phoenix Gas Communications Manager; Peter Cunliffe, Gallaun Residents Association treasurer; Maya Goodfellow, chairperson; with Councillors John Trainor and Oonagh Hanlon. Front row, three young residents from the Gallaun Estate who helped with the planting.

Residents in Downpatrick’s Gallaun estate enjoyed a day of celebration for the progress they have made as a community over the past year. Since the setting up of the Gallaun Community Residents Association (GRA) n May 2020 with their chairperson Maya Goodfellow, the residents have seen a number of benefits to their community through their local activism.

Gillian Orr, Communications Manager with Phoenix Gas looking over some of the wild flowers to be planted pictured with Maya Goodfellow on the new bench supplied by Eco-Plastic funded through the National Lottery.

The group is now an active member of Downpatrick Community Collective supporting its initiatives too.

Maya explained that the GRA offers “a unique wellness experience for residents, by promoting and providing togetherness, connection and engagement.  Our vision is to improve the health, education and well-being of Gallaun Residents by providing services, community events, essential supplies and educational activities.                      

Planting out: from left, Phoenix Gas Communications manager, Councillor John Trainor and Oonagh Hanlon, with Maya Goodfellow, chairperson of the Gallaun Residents Association.

Maya said: “The celebration today is to show that we are continually improving our housing environment. We have planted fruit bushes near the entrance to the estate along with more borders and flowers, and we have also planted out wildflower beds. The wildflowers came from Gillian at True Harvest Seeds in Kiclief who has been a great source of advice.

“We also had Brennan’s Ice Cream van in attendance giving out free ice creams. Our community takes  a great pride in what we have achieved so far with funding from Clanmill Housing, Phoenix Gas, and the TNL Community Fund which we are very grateful for.

Councillors Oonagh Hanlon and John Traonor; Maya Goodfellow, chair of the Gallaun residents Association; Peter Cunliffe, GRA Treasurer; and Gillian Orr, Communications Manager with Phoenix Gas.

“The whole to the Gallaun estate has been given an excellent make-over. There is a new fence and also a fantastic Eco-Plastic bench for residents to enjoy in the shade of a big tree.

“Really, the whole community has been involved in different ways and we will continue with our theme of ‘Gallaun Grows’ and tend to our new flower beds. We’d like to thank Councillors Oonagh Hanlon and John Trainor for coming along today to see the latest works we have completed.”

Gallaun resident Oliver Shields with Maya Goodfellow and Amelia Rose Kelly (centre) at Brennan’s Ice Cream van.

In congratulating the group for the progress they have made, Gillian Orr, Communications Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas, said: “We’re delighted that the Phoenix Natural Gas Building Back Together Fund us helping to fuel connections across our licence area.  It’s great to be here today to support the Gallaun Residents Association which continues to enable Gallaun to bloom.” 

Cllr  John Trainor said: “Gallaun Residents Association have moved from strength to strength and have created real change in the local area.

“This recent initiative has created a much needed communal area and it was brilliant to see Brennan’s Ice Cream out providing ice creams to residents especially on such a warm day.”

Gallaun residents: l-r, enjoying the free ice cream: Saoirse Sharvin; Scarlet Grace Kelly; Sarah McAuley; Natasha Kelly with Amelia Rose Kelly, front.

Cllr Oonagh Hanlon said: “I commend the efforts of Maya and the Gallaun Residents Association for the work and projects they have delivered in improving the estate and enhancing the lives of those who live here.

“They are a wonderful example of true community spirit and when working together so much can be achieved. Thanks to the National Lottery Funding which helped make these projects possible. This has improved community relations and ensured Gallaun and the wider area is a more positive place to live in.“

The residents with the support of Maya Goodfellow regularly clean up the estate and neighbouring areas with litter picks and this has been a key stepping stone to a happier and healthier community.