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Erin Thomson Memorial Trust to Construct a Play Park

September 28, 2015

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is delighted to be involved with the Erin Thomson Memorial Trust and its play park in Gilnahirk, Dundonald.
Family members formed this local charitable trust after the premature death of young Erin on 2nd June 2012.  The Trust has several objectives, one of them is to promote the benefits of sport, and physical education to children and young people aged 0-18.
Through fundraising efforts, the Trust is now able to create a play park in Gilnahirk in conjunction with Wicksteed Playgrounds for children of a similar age of Erin to utilise, promoting active and healthy lifestyles for children, parents and grandparents whilst encouraging valuable family time.
Members of the Erin Thomson Memorial Trust presented a cheque to the Council, which will enable the project and work on the play park to commence. The Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, Councillor Thomas Beckett said, “I would like to praise the efforts of the Erin Thomson Trust and all those involved in raising a staggering amount of just over £36,000 in 2 years, it is absolutely tremendous.
“The play park will symbolise a little piece of happiness in what are tragic circumstances. I hope that the local residents and families will use and benefit from this fantastic facility and most importantly have fun in memory of Erin.”
Speaking about the project, Councillor Brian Hanvey, Chairman of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, said, “It is hoped that this play park will be a lasting legacy to Erin, and provide countless hours of fun for children of all ages and families over the forthcoming years.  Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is supportive of initiatives that encourage physical activity amongst young people as the health and social benefits are important in improving their lifestyles.
“This memorial play park was first mentioned during the process of local government reform to the three former councils Lisburn City Council, Castlereagh Borough Council and Belfast City Council.  Each council kept this initiative high on the agenda throughout reform; and the two new super councils would like to commend the Erin Thomson Trust for their substantial fundraising efforts and thank all those who contributed to this very worthy cause,” concluded Councillor Hanvey.
Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council echo the views of the Trust in that a children’s play park is a safe and pleasant shared outdoor space that will help promote active lifestyles amongst children, parents, grandparents and carers.  Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council committed to delivering the project in partnership with the Trust and Belfast City Council, despite the changing Local Government boundaries on 1st April 2015. The construction of the play park will be managed by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and upon completion will become part of the wider Belfast City Council facilities. 
The Erin Thomson Trust hopes that this play park may help to combat the recent epidemic of childhood obesity, promote better community spirit whilst providing a valuable asset to the local community.