Grow Wild voting opens on Tuesday 6th October at 8am and runs until 1st November- please help The Cornfield Project win by voting on 0808 228 7703 or

Coleraine’s Cornfield is currently a nowhere place – seven acres of uninspiring land that is merely a buffer between the estates of Ballysally and Millburn. Using imaginative landscaping and swathes of wild flowers, Focus on Family’s plan is to transform it into a functioning space for the town’s residents. Alongside local volunteers, partners including the Woodland Trust and The Conservation Volunteers will come together to create innovative and interactive learning zones, nature trails, allotments, outdoor classrooms and walkways.

Grow Wild’s flagship project in Northern Ireland will be decided by a public vote which will take place from 6th October until 1st November 2015 – with the winner awarded with £135,000 to implement their site plan.

Supported by the Big Lottery Fund and led by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Grow Wild is a national wild flower campaign in its third year of wild flower campaigning, aiming to bring people together to transform a communal space by sowing and growing native plants.

The Cornfield Project, developed by Aspire Community Partnership, a collaborative consortium of local grass-roots community groups including; Focus on Family as the lead partner, Millburn Community Association, Building Ballysally Together, Oasis Causeway and Coleraine Education Community Project with other groups from the wider Causeway Coast and Glens area who’s aims are to improve the lives of residents within local communities.

The project is supported by a range of key partners including; The Woodland Trust, who own the site; The Conservation Volunteers; Northern Health and Social Services Trust and Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan commenting on the projects shortlisting said, “I’d like to congratulate those involved, particularly ‘Focus on Family’ and ‘Millburn Community Association’. Their work in progressing the Cornfield Project from an initial vision to its present stage as one of the finalists in the ‘Grow Wild Programme is a fantastic achievement. I’d ask everyone throughout the Borough and beyond to get involved in backing the Cornfield Project by making their vote, once the voting system opens on 6th October.”

Brendan Patterson Project Manager at Focus on Family added, “‘The Cornfield Project has been developed as a tool to engage local communities in a completely new way by linking people together through nature. The vision for the project is to transform the Cornfield site that lies between the Millburn and Ballysally estates with native wild flowers and, in doing so, bridge two divergent communities. With features including colourful wild flower planting, sensory spaces, allotments, outdoor classrooms and walkways, it’ll become a multi-functional space for Coleraine.”

Billy Ellis, Community Development Worker at Millburn Community Association commented, “The communities of Millburn and Ballysally are recognised areas of deprivation with low levels of educational attainment, high unemployment, health issues and the perceived lack of hope and aspiration amongst people living in the areas. Those involved in the Cornfield Project believe the development of the site could be a foundation for good practice in tackling such issues, increasing people`s confidence, social inclusion, skills and educational potential. The benefits of the project could have a significant impact on those living within the areas and provide opportunities for similar community areas to build on its framework.”

The development of the site has the potential to generate new and fun activities, training opportunities and projects to generate further income. It is expected that the project will further enhance the physical and mental wellbeing of the community as a whole with increased engagement and an understanding and appreciation of nature with the provision of a beautiful place full of activity for everyone to enjoy.”

The area of land includes the Woodland Trust’s Cornfield Wood. Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, said: “We really hope that people will give this innovative proposal the full backing it deserves. This project has the potential to totally transform the local landscape. It offers a wonderful opportunity for communities and individuals to work together. And the end result will be an attractive, flourishing and lasting natural resource, which can be freely enjoyed by everyone.”

Already numerous community initiatives have made a difference across Northern Ireland – with the winning flagship project set to add another level to the benefits brought by Grow Wild.

For more information about the flagship projects or the wider Grow Wild campaign, please visit



focus on family nurturing & development centre

Information & Course Registration Day

Everyone is welcome to come along at anytime between

10am-6pm on Wednesday 2nd September

To find out what’s on offer at Focus on Family, 11-19 Glenburn Crescent,

Ballysally, BT52 2QR and register for our new courses starting in mid-September

This information day is for members of the public who want to join courses as well as

local professionals wanting to find out more or make referrals to our courses.

For more information, please contact the Project Manager, Brendan Patterson


Accredited Courses

Computers ICT Essential Skills Level 1 & 2 delivered by the Northern Regional College

Literacy/Numeracy Essential Skills delivered by the Northern Regional College

Improve Your English/Maths (Basic Level) delivered by the Northern Regional College

Non-accredited Courses

Creative Crafts courses

Complementary Therapies – Shiatsu Massage, Yoga, Holistic Therapies, Reiki, Pilates

Recreational Courses – Creative Writing, Cookery

Nurturing, Domestic Abuse Programmes, Job Club and more……


These programmes are made possible through funding by Neighbourhood Renewal, DSD and administered by Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council and their support is greatly appreciated me along at anytime between


Just wanted to share the great news – today we were informed that the exciting Cornfield Project has been selected as one of the three final Grow Wild NI Flagship projects. This means there will be loads of activity on the site over the summer leading up to a public vote to decide the winner (winning project receives funding to achieve the project) in October this year.
Soon we will be having a series of consultation events, planning meetings and site activities for the project.
In the meantime, please share our great news and if you need any more details on any aspect of this fantastic project, please just ask!
Thanks so much for your support and help so far. So many people have helped us get to this stage and we really appreciate everything that has been done……
Re-starting Thursday 23rd April from 11am-1pm and ongoing every Thursday.

Come along and learn all about the amazing benefits of holistic therapies and how they can be of great benefit to your health and well-being. Classes are taken by a fully qualified tutor who will provide hands-on treatments alongside skills that participants can take away to use on friends and family members.
Cost £3 per week.

Everyone welcome – please come along to Focus on Family, 11-19 Glenburn Crescent, Ballysally, Coleraine, BT52 2QR. For further details please ring 028 7032 9550 and ask for Brendan.

Thank you!

We have recently updated the courses we are offering so go check out our ‘Courses now Available’ page and see if you would be interested in taking part in anything new!

For extra information on any changes contact Brendan on 028 7032 9550

Having just spent my week of work experience here at Focus on Family I feel I’ve learned a lot about the company. I’ve learned how things are organised and planned, witnessed all the preparation for the classes and even been able to attend some myself. I’ve also meet all the staff and volunteers and got to get to know them and all about the separate jobs they do within the business. You’d be surprised to see how much time and effort is actually put into the organising and planning behind Focus on Family, and how many people are in the background in order to keep it up and running. Now after my week here I have a much greater appreciation for all the work that these people put into enriching our community and giving us the opportunity to enrich our own skills. I would advise anyone who has the opportunity to come down and attend an ICT course to maximize their skills or even just come down to focus on crafts for a chat and a cup of tea while learning how to crochet or do calligraphy!

Do you live in, work, study or visit Coleraine? Do you need your little ones looked after in a quality, happy and fun environment? If so, Focus on Family is just the place for you!!

Focus on Family, based at Glenburn House, 11-19 Glenburn Crescent, Ballysally, Coleraine, BT52 2QR have been offering quality childcare for over 15 years. The family centre, within easy reach of Coleraine town and surrounding areas offers childcare for 0-2 years in the Baby Room and 2-4 years in the Toddler Room.

The childcare is provided by both qualified and experienced staff that pride themselves in ensuring every family receive quality provision and each child is respected for their individuality.  Every child is offered a wide range of activities and opportunities to promote their holistic development.  Activities include art and crafts, music, dance and drama, physical play, role play and dressing up.  The children also receive a healthy snack and participate in the teeth cleaning programme.

Rates for families are extremely competitive and we have again kept our prices as low as possible to help to support local families wishing to avail of the service:

Morning Session 9am-1pm

Parents receiving Tax Credit                        £15 per session

Working Parents                                             £12 per session

Parents receiving income support                           £8 per session

Afternoon Session 2pm-5pm

Parents receiving Tax Credit                        £11.25 per session

Working Parents                                             £9 per session

Parents receiving income support                          £6 per session

Places for September are filling up fast, so if you would like to know more or to book a space for your child, please contact the Childcare Manager, Jill Proctor, on 028 7032 9550 or by email

Focus on Family has a long and proud tradition of offering the very best support to help local people grow and develop. As part of this support, the centre is pleased to announce a new, free one-to-one personal counselling service.

The counselling service is open to adults living within the local Coleraine area and is available to anyone who would like the opportunity to sit down with the counsellor in a safe and relaxed setting. The counsellor can support a wide range of different issues and problems that people may be finding difficult to cope with.

Focus on Family continue to offer various programmes to the local community that help improve people’s overall quality of life and the counselling service offers a further extension of the support on offer.

Anyone interested in having an initial no-commitment one-to-one session with the counsellor, should contact Focus on Family on 028 7032 9550 or pop in to 11-19 Glenburn Crescent, Ballysally, Coleraine, BT52 2QR and ask for Brendan, Jacq or Angela.

Did you know…………

We run a local membership scheme for anyone living in the Ballysally or Millburn wards. For an annual fee of just £10, you gain membership to the scheme and are then entitled to attend all courses running each week for a fee of only £1 per week. That means you pay your £10 and then could experience employment courses, computers, yoga, sign language, holistic therapies, art, pilates and cookery in the same week all for just £1!