Lining Out With Downpatrick Community This Christmas

Patrician Youth Centre 4

There was scrum fun in Downpatrick this week as Ulster Rugby and Phoenix Natural Gas came together to bring some festive cheer and extra support for community projects in the area.

Starting off at Fountain Foodbank, Ulster Rugby senior team players Nick Timoney, Jack McGrath and Kieran Treadwell helped out with packing and distributing food parcels for families across the area, making a big difference for the volunteers at the Foodbank at their busiest time.

Volunteer co-ordinator at Fountain Foodbank Shirley Lennon was delighted to have some extra muscle at the foodbank, she said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community for our Foodbank Appeal which will help support over 130 families across Downpatrick this Christmas. The volunteers were fantastic and we were very glad to have a team of strong helpers who made light work of moving so many Christmas parcels.”

A second team of Ulster Rugby senior team volunteers, Stuart McCloskey and Billy Burns made their way to Patrician Youth Centre to take part in a rugby mini skills session with 55 local pupils from Our Lady & St Patrick’s Primary School, before answering questions from the young people attending.

Downpatrick Church 4

Speaking about the session, Yvonne Maguire, Manager of the Patrician Youth Centre said: “There has been so much excitement about the visit to the Centre this week and the children thoroughly enjoyed the skills session with Billy and Stuart.  For many of the children this was their first time getting involved with rugby but the players put everyone at ease, getting involved in the session themselves and just encouraging them all to have fun – which they did.  We would like to say a big thank you to Ulster Rugby and Phoenix Natural Gas for this fantastic opportunity.”    

The sessions were organised as part of the Ulster Rugby and Phoenix Natural Gas LineOut programme which sees both organisations working together to make a real difference for communities across the Province.

Jonathan Martindale, Executive Director at Phoenix Natural Gas said: “Making a genuine difference for people and communities is at the heart of the LineOut Programme for ourselves and our partners at Ulster Rugby and we are delighted to have been able to offer our support to Fountain Foodbank and Patrician Youth Centre this Christmas.”

For further information on the Ulster Rugby and Phoenix Natural Gas LineOut programme or to find out how you can get involved gillian.orr@phoenixnaturalgas.com