What We Do
Donaghadee Activities and Projects
The Association organises events, initiates and delivers projects to benefit the Donaghadee community and works closely with elected representatives and with other Donaghadee organisations including schools and statutory bodies to improve Donaghadee.
The Donaghadee Summer festival
Unfortunately the pandemic prevented any festival in 2020. In normal circumstances the Donaghadee festival runs from June – September with the Association directly organising some events and others organised and delivered by other organisations such as sports clubs, special interest groups and churches.
The Association produces the programme arranges publicity and secures finance and any necessary permissions for use of land. In 2019 the festival encompassed some 80 events with 35 different organisations involved.
Total attendances were of the order of 15,000 and this was delivered at a total cost of just over £19,000. The majority of this comes from grants by Ards and North Down Borough Council with the balance met by advertising and sponsorship from local traders.
Donaghadee Christmas Celebrations
Organisations are invited to organise events throughout the period leading up to Christmas and these are publicised in an attractive trifold programme. The highlight of the programme is the switch-on of the Donaghadee Christmas tree lights following the Community Carol Service.
Santa in Donaghadee
Working closely with the RNLI and the local Rotary Club the Association organises the hugely popular Santa parade and market.
Crommelin Wood Restoration
The Associations major environmental project is the restoration of Cromellin Wood. With financial support from Live Here Love Here and the Co-op Community Fund we have been able to develop pathways and signage and to commence the process of replanting with native trees. This is carried out with the support and assistance of volunteers, community organisations and our local schools.
The Association is encouraged by the increased use of the newly constructed pathways by locals, who appreciate the woodland environment and its unique contribution to enhancing the quality of life in Donaghadee and the surrounding area.
Donaghadee Floral Decorations
In 2019 the Association worked with local traders to erect some 60 hanging baskets around Donaghadee. This involved fixing brackets, purchasing baskets and arranging their planting with local suppliers.
The displays alongside those arranged by the local Council were a major factor in the town being awarded Best Kept Small Town by the Northern Ireland Amenity Council. This work has developed further with the Association taking responsibility for the planting of various beds and planters round the town and recruiting volunteers to look after them.
Donaghadee Community Projects
Each year the Association engages in at least one community based project. Examples over the past few years have been
- Get Ready for School – The Association worked closely with local schools to produce a booklet with advice on tips for parents of pre-school children on how best to prepare them for school.
- Local History – A team of local historians produced a teaching pack for teachers to use in teaching local history, Sets of banners were produced by local school children for hanging from street lamps <link to history page>
- Mosaic – School Children worked with a local artist to produce a mosaic celebrating 110 years of the RNLI station in Donaghadee
- Heritage Coasters – With help and support from local historians and the Borough Council, the Association produced a set of 8 commemorative coasters celebrating aspects of the history of the town
- Covid-19 – In response to the global pandemic the Association secured funding from various sources and has been able to provide PPE to volunteers supporting the housebound, food and other essentials for those most in need and sets of books for pupils learning from home but in difficult circumstances
- Donaghadee Calendar 2022 – We have a photographic completion with a monthly prize of a £50 restaurant voucher for the best photograph submitted. In October 2021 we shall produce a 2022 calendar featuring the winning photograph each month. Click here for rules and how to enter
We endeavour to keep everyone informed about current issues and events through this website and our social media platforms.
Supporting Local Donaghadee Groups
The Association supports local groups by providing advice on various issues, particularly grant information. A particular success is its decision in 2013 to establish a group to take forward the conservation of the Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat and the Donaghadee Heritage Preservation Company is now a free-standing organisation making significant progress on this ambitious project.
In early 2020 the Association has also organised a Volunteers night as a means of thanking volunteers for the contribution they make to the local community. It also has a range of equipment – a portable stage, a pa system, digital projector and screen, gazebos, New Age Kurling game, walkie talkies and display panels. These enable organisations to put on their own events to raise funds, promote membership etc. More recently it has secured funding for 10 laptop computers to enable local groups to train its members in the use of IT
Supporting Donaghadee Traders
The Association is committed to ensuring that Donaghadee has a vibrant and strong local economy. In support of this it provides local traders with information on grants; sources of advice; arranges training where needs are identified, organises markets to bring local footfall, organises shop local promotions and produces promotional material such as shopping bags. The Association meets regularly with its counterpart groups in Bangor, Newtownards, Holywood and Comber to discuss issues of common concern.
Campaigning and Representation
The Association enjoys a very positive relationship with elected representatives and local Council officers. It has 2 places on the Donaghadee Town Advisory Group. Through this forum and its predecessor the Donaghadee Town Steering Group the Association’s representatives had an influential role in the preparation of the Town Masterplan in 2015; the successful application for funding for the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) valued at approximately £2m; the design of the public realm scheme valued at £2.5m which has transformed the seafront and the implementation of free WIFI in the town centre. It has campaigned relentlessly for a resolution of the town’s car parking and traffic flow problems and for action to be taken with regard to dog fouling. It is currently heavily engaged in the Review of the Town masterplan initiated by the local Council.
Got and Idea?
The Association is open to ideas for future activities and projects so if you have an idea which you think the we should take forward either directly or through the Council or other body contact us.