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Deputy Mayor Hosts Student Exchange BBQ

30 July 2015

The Deputy Mayor is joined by Ruby, Jacinda, Matthew and Cassie at the BBQ in Antrim Castle Gardens.


Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Blair, welcomed students taking part on the Sister Cities Student Exchange Programme to a BBQ in Clotworthy House, Antrim Castle Gardens.  Local students Matthew Audley and Ruby Irvine from Ballyclare Secondary School and Ballyclare High School, along with American students Cassie Hancock and Jacinda Shelton, had the opportunity to meet the Deputy Mayor and local Councillors and share their experiences with them.

Matthew and Ruby jetted off to Gilbert, in Phoenix, Arizona in June, returning home with the American students who are staying in the Borough until August 1st.  The students will experience the highlights of the Borough & Northern Ireland through a number of planned activities.  They have undertaken some volunteering with Volunteer Now, working with a youth group from FOCUS in Antrim. They will get to visit Stormont and venture up the Antrim Coast Line to the see the Giants Causeway and Carrickarede Rope Bridge.

Speaking on the evening, Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor John Blair commented;

“I’m delighted to extend a very warm Northern Irish welcome to Cassie and Jacinda and it seems that despite the rainy July, they are enjoying what our beautiful Borough and country has to offer.  This year sees the student exchange programme celebrate 15 years and during this time I believe that a spirit of friendship and partnership has developed between our communities, leading to a greater understanding of our respective cultures.  I hope all four students here tonight have been enriched from this exciting experience.”