Monthly Archives: May 2013

Press Release 2 : Ambassador Programme Gets Underway!


One of the programme members takes the helm!

One of the programme members takes the helm!

Hot on the heels of the recent launch of Focus on Family’s exciting heritage project “1613 And All That! ~ An Exploration Of The Plantation Of Coleraine”, the first strand of this Heritage Lottery funded project is now well underway.

On Monday 22nd April, project members began an innovative learning programme which, over the life of the heritage project, will help participants to :

1. Develop a real sense of pride in Coleraine and its heritage.

2. Develop competency in facilitating both local heritage tours and information sessions.

3. Increase levels of self-awareness.
4. Support the development of relationship- management skills.
5. Build self-confidence.

6. Develop communication and presentation skills.
7. Build basic coaching skills.

Aptly called “The Ambassador Programme”, this course is designed to help participants to get the most out of the wider heritage project.

Whilst project members build a growing sense of pride in Coleraine through connecting to their heritage – and to themselves – in new ways, it is also clear that Coleraine can be proud of its people and communities who, through projects like this, keep the vibrant, ongoing story of Coleraine alive and kicking.

“The learning programme is helping me to learn more about who I am and I’m feeling really upbeat about the rest of the project. It’s giving a whole new meaning to the word “home” for me,” said Sally Cupples, project member.

Elaine Millican, another project member, added “The Ambassador Programme is not only giving me the skills to get the most out of the heritage project, it’s also giving me the skills and support to deal with issues from my own past. The group is open and welcoming : the project team is already gelling really well.”

For more information about the project – or to get involved – visit or email Jane here or call Jane here 028 7032 9550


Our Summer “What’s On” Guide!


We're getting ready to publish a book!

We’re getting ready to publish a book!

Over the summer , we will be spending time developing materials for our book, thinking about layout and design ~  and preparing for our trip to the University of Ulster.

Heritage Tuesdays @ Focus On Family “Heritage Tuesdays” will run 10am – 1pm on Tuesdays throughout the summer (unless Focus on Family  is closed ). These sessions will be facilitated by Bob Curran (local historian) and/or  Jane Talbot (Project Co-ordinator).

Sessions will run on the following dates :

16th July
23rd July
30th July
6th August
13th August
20th August

On Wednesday 21st August 10am-4pm there will be a special  1-day event to make our final preparations for the trip to Ulster University.

Learning How The Professionals Do It!

By the end of the summer we will have learned ALOT and created ALOT of material for our book! Now we will be ready to learn the technical aspects of publishing a book with the help of our friends at Ulster University. Here’s what’s happening:

Tuesday 27th August : Storyboarding Our Book

We are going to learn some professional techniques for structuring our book in a way which tells the story of the Coleraine Plantation in a way that reflects the spirit of our project AND connects with all those who will be reading our book. This is a fun, creative and challenging process which will put all our teamwork skills into action!

Pick-up from Focus on Family at 9:30am , returning at 4:30pm

Tuesday 3rd September and Tuesday 10th September : Design And Production Days

Based on our storyboard for our book, we are going to try our hand at professional page design (we’ll be using print-industry standard techniques!). By the end of these 2 days, we’ll have enough material to hand onto our printers to ensure the final design and printing of a book that reflects all the fabulous work we have done over the life of the project.

Pick-up from Focus on Family at 9:30am , returning at 4:30pm on each day.

Press Release 1 : Focus On Family Launches Its Inspiring Heritage Project


Our Official Project Launch!

Our Official Project Launch!

There’s a new buzz around Focus on Family, the nurturing and development centre at the very heart of the Ballysally Estate.  With generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Focus on Family is helping local people to engage with their heritage in new ways. And given Coleraine is celebrating the 400th anniversary of the granting of its Royal Charter this year, this is the perfect time to explore the story of the Coleraine Plantation.

“Our project offers people in the Ballysally area an opportunity not only to connect to local heritage but also to meet new people, learn new skills and share the history of Coleraine in exciting and fun ways,” says Brendan Patterson, Manager of Focus On Family.

The project was officially launched on Tuesday 16th of April. During the launch event, those registered on the project got to find out more about everything that’s going on over the next year and to meet some of the people they will be getting to know during this time too.

“Our project is called 1613 And All That!” adds Jane Talbot, Project Co-ordinator. “Not only are we exploring the story of the Coleraine Plantation at a local level, we’re also going to London! We’re planning to see the Coleraine Charter itself and to visit one of the Livery Halls. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved.”

Angela Lavin of Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) added her encouragement to the project team. “HLF were delighted to fund this exciting local heritage project. We are always pleased to help communities explore their heritage and would urge other groups to follow Focus on Family’s example and have a go at our small grants programmes Sharing Heritage or Our Heritage.”

Jane (Project Co-ordinator); Brendan (Focus on Family) and Bob (local historian)

Jane (Project Co-ordinator); Brendan (Focus on Family) and Bob (local historian)

With expert support from Bob Curran (local historian), The Honourable The Irish Society, the Causeway Museum Service and Ulster University, project members are in for a real treat.

The project culminates in the production of a book .Those project team members who have completed the “Ambassador Programme” (the project’s inspiring learning programme) will even get to facilitate local heritage tours and information sessions.

For more information about the project – or to get involved – visit or email Jane here or call Jane here 028 7032 9550

About The Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, HLF invest in every part of our diverse heritage.

Since 1994 the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £154.9million to over 1,000 projects across Northern Ireland.

HLFHI_2747This project is funded through the Heritage Lottery “Fund Your Heritage” programme. This grant programme was replaced February by two new programmes “Sharing Heritage” and “Our Heritage”. More information about all HLF funding can be found at