Belfast actor James Martin is urging people to support the Corrymeela Community this Christmas by making a donation to help the vital work the peace-building organisation carry’s out.
The Oscar award winner has recently been appointed an ambassador for the Corrymeela Community and is helping raise awareness of the group’s Shine a Light for Peace campaign.
The Belfast launch of the campaign took place today (Friday) at the Europa Hotel and was attended by over 70 people from communities from across Northern Ireland.
Corrymeela is Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organisation and has been shining a light for peace for almost 60 years. Every year it supports thousands of people from different communities to live well together, through residentials at its Ballycastle Centre and in groups throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.
This year, James Martin and the Corrymeela Community are asking people to light up a life by taking part in a host of fundraising initiatives.
To make an online donation, you can ‘Light a Star’ on the virtual, online Christmas Tree and dedicate a message of goodwill and hope for family, friends, your community or yourself.
Schools and workplaces can get involved by ‘Shining a Light for Peace on your Tree’ – you’ll receive a special festive tag from Corrymeela for every donor to personalise and place on your Christmas Tree as a reminder that you have made a difference.
Throughout November and December, the Europa Hotel will have a QR code displayed on the large screens in the lobby to encourage guests to scan and donate.
Ambassador of the Shine a Light for Peace campaign, James Martin said: I first visited Corrymeela when I was a pupil at Harberton Special School in Belfast and I fell in love with it and all it stands for and have continued to visit regularly over the years. As a charitable organisation, they rely on donations from the public to help them continue the important work they do to support thousands of people every year. The Shine a Light project is now more important than ever, considering all the world-wide unrest and I am urging people across Northern Ireland to make a donation to our campaign, shine a light this Christmas and together, we can play a part in contributing to a more peaceful world.”
James McGinn, Managing Director of Hastings Hotels said: “Similar to Corrymeela, the Europa Hotel has played a huge part in the peace story of Northern Ireland. Whilst it is known as the world’s most bombed hotel, it has transformed into an iconic symbol of Belfast’s survival. For over 50 years, the Europa Hotel has been the heart of Belfast welcoming people from different communities and backgrounds and continues to do so – it really is a true beacon of hope and peace. We are proud to give our support to this incredible campaign and would encourage people to light up a star and help light up a life with Corrymeela this Christmas.”
Tim Magowan, Executive Director of Corrymeela said: “Over the last 50 years, the Europa Hotel and the Corrymeela Community have both played an important role in contributing to a more peaceful Northern Ireland for everyone. So we are delighted to come together, with the support of Oscar winner James Martin, to launch our new campaign and invite people across the province, and beyond, to help us continue to shine a light for peace in 2024.”
For more information on how you can help Shine a Light for Peace this Christmas, go to www.corrymeela.org