Apex and Radius host International Big Breakfast in Dungannon
Breakfast in Dungannon was much more than an Ulster Fry this weekend as Apex Housing Association and Radius Housing Association hosted the International Big Breakfast at Ranfurly House. The big breakfast brought together people from across Dungannon to celebrate the rich cultural identity of the area, and encourage young people to get involved in community work.
Central to the celebrations were the breakfast cuisines from across the globe, including Mexico, India, Scotland, East Timor and China as well as local standards such as the Ulster Fry. Alongside the food, guests were able to enjoy music and dancing from the native homes of many who have now settled in Dungannon.
Apex and Radius continue to work in partnership with local advisory group stakeholders, and with residents to develop Good Relations Plans. The Big Breakfast is part of the Good Relations work undertaken by Apex and Radius in the Dungannon area, to help build strong community relations. Among the Shared Housing developments managed by Apex is Sycamore Drive in Dungannon, and the International Big Breakfast is part of the community relations development plan for the area.
Speaking at the event, Sharon Hunt from Apex commented:
We are delighted to be co-hosting this International Big Breakfast during Good Relations Week; allowing local people from all walks of life to come together. This fantastic event has allowed our tenants from Sycamore Drive in Dungannon and others from neighouring areas to learn more about each other and experience an array of different cultural traditions through music, dance, storytelling and food.
In particular, it’s great to see so many young people here today, supporting the Good Relations Week theme of ‘Brighter Days Ahead’; which aims to acknowledge the everyday efforts of young people in breaking down barriers and helping to unite communities. Their presence here today says so much about the future of good relations in the Dungannon area.
Geraldine Dougan from Radius Housing, said:
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the International Big Breakfast is an even more important event for Dungannon to celebrate the rich cultural tapestry that makes up the town. Bringing people together here at Ranfurly House to try new cuisine from across the world and enjoy the wonderful cultures that are represented in the town is a great way to spend the morning.
For Radius, events like this are central to building a strong, connected community. With this event we wanted to bring young people and those who maybe haven’t had the chance to be involved in community initiatives together, so that they can become more involved in community projects and can become leaders themselves in the local area.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean, added:
Events like this International Big Breakfast are key to bringing our local communities together. The sharing of food has always been part of the human story and very relevant to the people of Mid Ulster. Eating a meal together has proved to forge relationships, dispel anger, and provoke joy and laughter. The sights, sounds and tastes I’ve experienced from across a wide range of cultures at this morning’s event have really brought home to me just how much Dungannon, and indeed Mid Ulster, is a multi-cultural community. The involvement of families and in particular young people only serves to highlight the hopeful theme of this year’s Good Relations Week – ‘Brighter Days Ahead’.
This event was supported through the Department for Communities ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme, which has its origins in the NI Executive Together Building a United Community Strategy. The Department for Communities has invested £7m in the Sycamore Drive and Carland Road shared housing developments.