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      Thursday 30 Apr 2009

      The George Best Belfast City Airport (GBBCA) Community Fund has announced its first Community Fund Project.
      The Airport in association with the Energy for Children Charitable Trust donated £4000 to the Helping Hands Community group in Tullycarnet. The funding will help provide some much-needed new facilities for the children involved. The group has about 30 members and meets every Wednesday at Tullycarnet Community Centre. It acts as a support to children who have special needs and suffer from the likes of Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, both of which can cause communication and emotional problems.

      As a result of the funding Helping Hands recently took special delivery of sensory integration equipment and toys, all of which have been recommended by a physiotherapist. These materials will now play a key role in helping with the quality of social and personal interaction amongst the children who attend the group. Julie Linstrom, a volunteer at Helping Hands, welcomed the funding by saying:

      “Getting the new equipment means we can now do a lot more with the children that we see here every week. It is great that we are able to offer new activities, each of which will teach them a new skill and encourage them to interact with others.”

      Michelle Hatfield, Human Resources Director from GBBCA had recently visited Helping Hands to meet the children and see how the funding has helped. She commented:

      “We at the airport are delighted to be able to support the Energy for children Charitable Trust through our community Fund. It is great to see how these children have benefited from our support and indeed how the group here in Tullycarnet is continual to help parents from throughout the east of the city.”

      Volunteers at the group also invited along DUP councillor Gareth Robinson to thank him for putting them in touch with Energy for Children. He was pleased to see a lot of happy little faces on his visit as he reflected:

      “It is great to see local companies supporting the local community her in East Belfast. I have been aware of the fantastic work done by Helping Hands in Tullycarnet for some time now and it would be difficult to find a more deserving cause.”