THERE was plenty to celebrate in Lisnaskea as the Carrowshee, Sylvan Hill Community Association celebrated its 20th birthday recently.

Along with local tenants and residents in the area, the community group held a ‘Big Lunch’ on Friday, August 20, at Carrosyl Community Centre.

Formed in 2001, it is one of the most successful residents’s associations in County Fermanagh.

Supporting and aiming to improve the quality of life of all residents living in both Carrowshee Park and Sylvan Hill housing estates, the group prides itself on having great community spirit.

Kathleen Breen, Secretary of Carrowshee Park, Sylvan Hill Community Association, won the Housing Executive’s Rural Community Champion Award 2020 for her community efforts.

She thanked everyone who attended the 20th birthday celebrations, as well as sponsors who supported the event.

“We are delighted with how the day went, despite the weather, and it was lovely to see the community out and about again and having some fun.

“There was a really good turn-out of residents and families and plenty of fun and entertainment with a live DJ, Big Bears Magic Show, Corbally Mobile Petting Farm, Core NI Fun & Games, Streetwise circus performers, a barbecue, ice-cream, treats and refreshments.

“On the day there was a relaxed and fun atmosphere and it was much appreciated by all the residents, who had the opportunity to re-connect and celebrate their community connections.”

Carrowshee Park, Sylvan Hill Community Association has gained many achievements over the past two decades – and is looking forward to getting their new centre as they continue to work for the Fermanagh area.

Kathleen continued: “We are really excited about our new base which will mean we can expand our services and when we set up the group, we had a steering committee for the first few months, and there was Housing Executive representation on that.

“The Housing Executive, along with Supporting Communities, have both been very supportive and encouraging of us and what we have done over the years and various projects, and I would like to thank them for that.”

Oonagh McAvinney, the Housing Executive’s South West Area Manager, attended the first meeting of the community group 20 years ago in Castle Park Centre.

Oonagh said: “I was delighted to be invited along to the Big Lunch and take part in the outdoor celebrations, with Covid-19 procedures in place.

“Thank you to Kathleen and her fellow committee members for asking me to the celebrations, along with Christopher Spence, Good Relations Officer for the South West Area, and local Patch Manager, Kirsty Dixon.

“We had a great time seeing local tenants and residents in the area enjoy themselves after Covid-19 restrictions prevented such events taking place over the last 18 months.

“Carrowshee Park, Sylvan Hill Community Association should be very proud of themselves and all of the hard work that they do for the local community, and I have enjoyed following their journey over the past 20 years.

“I would like to wish them all the best as they look forward to moving into their new centre in the foreseeable future, and continue their efforts working for the whole community and residents of Carrowshee Park and Sylvan Hill.”