Claudy teens cre­ate a Christ­mas won­der­land to unite com­mu­nity

Belfast Telegraph - - NEWS - BY LEONA O’NEILL

YOUNG peo­ple from Claudy have banded to­gether to cre­ate a very spe­cial cross-com­mu­nity Christ­mas pro­ject for chil­dren in the vil­lage.

Teenage stu­dents from St Pa­trick’s and St Brid­get’s Col­lege in the Co Lon­don­derry vil­lage have been work­ing hard for weeks to turn Claudy Youth Club into an Elves’ Christ­mas Work­shop.

There, lo­cal pri­mary school chil­dren from both sides of the com­mu­nity can meet Mrs Claus, find out where they stand on the naughty and nice list and post their let­ters to Santa.

Not only will the teenagers’ en­deav­ours de­light lo­cal chil­dren, but they will also help them achieve good grades in their GC­SEs. To­day and to­mor­row par­ents from across the dis­trict will con­verge on the to­tally teenage-con­ceived and led, truly win­ter won­der­land.

St Pa­trick’s and St Brid­get’s Col­lege teacher Paddy McCourt says that it is the first time a Christ­mas event has been held inthevil­lage­and­he­and­hisstu­dents hope that it will bring both sides of the com­mu­nity to­gether.

“The stu­dents have been work­ing very hard to put this all to­gether,” he said. “It is re­ally stun­ning and beau­ti­ful. There’s a real warmth to the place and in­vokes won­der­ful child­hood nos­tal­gia.

Mr McCourt added: “It is a fan­tas­tic way to bring all sec­tions of the com­mu­nity to­gether un­der one roof to have con­ver­sa­tions again, to meet up with old friends, for kids to play, to be­lieve in Santa again and to get their let­ters writ­ten and to have fun for a few hours.

“This pro­ject is about sup­port­ing the learn­ing needs of both the youth club and the school. Or­gan­is­ing and rolling out this pro­ject con­trib­utes to the stu­dents’ Prince’s Trust com­mu­nity pro­ject, and will lead to some of our stu­dents get­ting a dou­ble B grade at GCSE.”

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