Let’s build a beach!

Paris has the Paris Plage… Sydney has Bondi Beach… Portrush has the Strand…Isn’t it about time Belfast had a beach of its own?15701329541_5aa00a69d3

On Monday you’ll have the chance to vote for a cool new addition to 15192552134_fb854fffdcthe Titanic Quarter landscape.  Titanic Foundation, along with lots of support and enthusiasm from the whole Titanic Quarter community, have put in an application to the People’s Millions to build a beach right beside Titanic Belfast as a chilled-out community space and a fun place to relax and feel the sand between your toes:

The fund will help us ‘Build a Beach’ within reach located in the heart of Titanic Quarter creating a friendly, healthy place easy to get to on foot, bike, bus and car for our local residents, workers & students as well as visiting tourists. A safe place for neighbouring communities to bring their children to play, to socialize and of course enjoy ice-cream.Build a Beach Facebook cover

The Beach will be a venue for sporting, cultural and educational events and activities from beach volleyball to building giant sand castles to playing life size board games. There will be beach huts – a must for the Belfast climate. Plus the perfect location to welcome the arrival of the Tall Ships.Build a Beach Twitter banner

We will involve local people in summer beach activities, we will work with local schools in the design process and recruit, train and work with a team of volunteers who will help with regular beach maintenance and assist with the organisation of beach events and activities. A place that will engage with and attract local communities, providing a space that belongs to everyone.

15626670979_6d6e61ffc0If you think it’s a good idea, you have to lift the phone and vote on Monday 24th November – the People’s Millions are awarded according to a public vote and your call might make all the difference…

The phone number isn’t released until Monday morning – so check back here on Monday morning for the number and get dialling.  Each person is allowed to phone and vote 10 times (each call costs 15p).  So vote early, vote often!

IMG_0462And tune into UTV Live at 6pm on Monday night, where you’ll see some familiar faces (and some familiar deckchairs) from Dock-world involved in the filming of a promo for the beach – a chance for Dock volunteers, TQ residents, BMC students, local businesses and more to get behind a project we’re all really excited about.

15788825586_9f5aa9a784And d’you know, even though it was a freezing November morning, as soon as we walked onto our little mock-up beach, started building sandcastles (Siobhan’s were especially meticulous), slurping ice-creams and playing catch, everyone started to smile.

Beaches are good, and Belfast needs one!


Hello again

You might’ve noticed that this blog has been a bit quiet for a few days…  Taking a little bit of time out to grieve with my (much) better half Susan and her family on the death of her brother Stephen, a gent if ever there was one, and a great loss.

IMG_0455Just a quick post today to say my heartfelt and profound thanks to the Dock community, who gathered round, prayed, supported and loved us through the past few days.  What an immense thing, in the midst of a stressful time, to receive a text message from the Dock volunteer team telling me that all my shifts in Dock Cafe had been covered by other volunteers going above and beyond the call of duty, and I was NOT to come in to work under any circumstances!

Is The Dock a church? is a topic of much debate.  (Well, I say debate, I mean long rambling conversations at theological college coffee tables across the land.)  If a church is where you find the warmth and grace of God’s love expressed in the practical kindness of his followers – then The Dock has definitely, profoundly been our church over this past week.

Thanks everyone!


Wakeboarding Boobs

Well that’s fairly close to the top of the list of Blog Post Titles I Never Thought I’d Use – and indeed Sights I Never Thought I’d See…

Massive respect to Sally and the Cable and Wake gang for this subtle, dignified event at the Titanic Slipways today – just part of a jam-packed few days with the Boobettes who are here in Belfast on a mission to save some lives…

15588445367_d6c5abbb51_oThree of the team are alive today because they checked – so follow their example and check out coppafeel.org (or chat to Wee Chat Buddy Diane) for more information.

And while you’re at it, click here for the full set of pictures from The Big Wooden Box