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Youth Forum make waves with Caroline M

Shauna Loughran

Reporter:

Shauna Loughran

DUNCLUG Youth Partnership are to set to sail the high seas after they successfully refurbished an old boat!

The project was unveiled last Tuesday, June 12, at an open night at Dunclug Community Centre.

The organisation sailed home with a Big Lottery windfall and enlisted volunteers from Dunclug and surrounding area to help create the titanic masterpiece!

Kevin McCrudden, Chairman of Dunclug Youth Forum, told the Guardian: "We received some funding from Big Lottery and decided to put it to good use by getting young people involved in the restoration of a boat.

"We found an old green boat in Portglenone and we painted it Sky Blue - the same colour as Ballymena United - and white.

"We called it the Caroline M, after a lady Caroline Mee who was involved with the Dunclug and District Residents Association who has sadly passed away.

"We had a group of about 12 teenagers who we called 'The Unclubables' who were involved in painting the boat.

"We wanted a project that would involve a larger number as when we run our Soap Box Derby, it's only one at a time in the Soap Box, so we wanted a larger challenge which would allow more people to work on it.

"Initially a motor car was suggested but we eventually decided on the boat.

"Myself and a few other volunteers, Oliver O'Neill, Robin Lynn and Dermot McQuillan helped get the programme underway.

"Everything has been upgraded, from the glass to the paintwork. Volunteers helped to undercoat and paint the exterior as well as restoring the inside by reupholstering the seats.

"This is part of a long term plan and our aim is to get the boat out on the water to take young people out on fishing trips and other activities, and essentially get them out of the estates.

"We are also eager to stress that this is not just just for the Dunclug community, we work with Harryville Partnership and we plan to carry out our trips on a cross community basis.

"We also received assistance from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the project has been a great success!"

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