Council Launches ICAN Festival

18th February 2019

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has unveiled details of the programme for “ican fest” the district’s first ever Festival for people with disabilities which will take place at venues across the district from Monday 4 March to Saturday 9 March 2019.

As part of “ican fest”, which has been funded by the Public Health Agency, the Council has programmed a number of fun and exciting activities and workshops aimed at children and adults with disabilities and their families.

The festival will enable participants to take part in a range of creative and leisure activities, including balloon modelling, pottery, jiving, inclusive leisure activities and much more.

On Thursday 7 March a Health Fayre will take place at the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum from 11 am to 2 pm, which will give people the opportunity to attend talks and to find out more information on the support available to them.

A children’s Fun Day will take place at the Bawnacre Centre Irvinestown on Saturday 9 March where children will be able to take part in activities such as a ‘Build a Teddy’ workshop and a magic show.

Speaking at the launch of the Festival the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Cllr Howard Thornton said;

“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working in partnership with other key stakeholders in the delivery of initiatives to improve the quality of life of the residents of the district. “ican fest” will provide people with disabilities and their carers with the opportunity to get out, be active and most importantly have fun.

With 1 in 5 residents of the district living with a disability, it is important for us to promote ability and inclusion within society. This Festival goes some way towards providing people with disabilities with the opportunity to explore different activities which they may carry on into the years ahead. We all must recognise the importance of social inclusion and the positive impact that taking part in activities has on both people’s physical and mental health. I would encourage everyone to support the initiative and take part in as many activities as possible and above all, to have fun!”

As well as Council activities, several other organisations have arranged various initiatives. A Disability Inclusion Workshop delivered in association with Sport NI, Disability Sport NI and Waterways Ireland has been organised specifically for watersports clubs and activity providers from across the district on Wednesday 6 March, while Omagh Volunteer Centre is delivering a “Mood Matters” workshop on Tuesday 5 March in Strule Arts Centre.

A new initiative being launched during the Festival is ‘Movement to Memory’. These events will allow people with dementia and their families to enjoy a relaxing morning or afternoon socialising and dancing to some vintage favourites.

Siobhan Sweeney from the Public Health Agency, the main funder, has added:

“PHA is delighted to support the Access and Inclusion Project within Fermanagh and Omagh District Council through the delivery of the Ican festival. This is the first of its kind within the district and is a celebration of a four-year investment from PHA in promoting access and inclusion within arts and cultural services. With over 40 activities for children, young people and adults with disabilities there will be a wealth of opportunities for people to experience the positive impact, of engaging in arts activities, on their health and social well-being.”

To find out more information please download the Festival Programme by visiting www.fermanaghomagh.com, telephone 0300 303 1777 or email matthew.nevin@fermanaghomagh.com