Humans of East Belfast


“I have been the co-ordinator of Dean Crooks fold for 20 years and I am a massive Dr Who Fan. I’ve met four Drs and would love to meet Tom baker and Peter Capaldi. I’m off to Cardiff in September for a holiday and I’m really hoping to catch some Dr Who filming while I’m there” 


“I grew up in Maghera and have two children. My husband and I lived in Hong Kong for a while and when I came home I worked as a school teacher, teaching kids all about music. I went to dances every night I could, I love music and dancing”


“I live in Sydenham court with my friends and I am happy here. My two children are called Kay and Ian and I have so many wonderful memories in my head that they make me smile all the time”


“I’ve lived in Belfast most of my life but I did live in Liverpool for two years. I like working in shops and hope to get a career in that. It’s been a real pleasure to meet the older people on this project and hear their stories, they have so many great stories to tell”


“I was born and brought up in East Belfast and worked as a sales assistant until I chose to be a stay at home mother for my 3 wonderful children. Margaret and I met many years ago and have stayed the best of friends over all that time”


“Yeah I blew in from Glasgow 34 years ago and never left because I loved it here so much”


“I am an artist, a people person, a dreamer, a do-er, a visionary and a mum. I am passionate about creating objects that capture something elusive, something other, something hopeful and uplifting… I love looking at the extraordinary beauty of ordinary everyday things and using a visual language to celebrate and capture those tiny unexpected moments which make life worth living. It’s kind of like my heartbeat, my passion and my skills all rolled into one”


“I’m 99 and a half years young but never too old to learn new tricks. I lived in South Africa for 20 years and had a wonderful life there. I love learning about new technology and now use Skype to keep in touch with my grandchildren and children on the other side of the world, it’s amazing being able to see them like they’re in the room with you”


“I’m a young and enthusiastic person who loves helping others which is how I got involved in volunteering in the community group. I think its really important for young people to be involved in the community and to help build it. I love to be active and I find that boxing and MMA fighting keep me fit and help me to deal with stress and anger management”


“Learning about new things is a great part of my life - I love photography as it means I can capture memorised that’s why I got involved in this project”


“I moved to East Belfast when we married in 1985 so we could be closer to work. and have lived happily ever since. It’s an area famed for it’s shopping and there are lots of nice small businesses and eating places. I am a regular volunteer for the EastSide Arts Festival and C.S. Lewis Festival - I love getting to meet people and helping them enjoy themselves and learn new things. I have recently going the new EastSide Arts Choir and can’t wait to perform at the festival.”


“I love the people in Belfast they’re like nowhere else in the world”


“I’m not sure I have much of a story to tell but I have many happy memories. I live in Dean Crooks now with my friends and my cat Simba. I used to have five hamsters but the cat and them didn’t get along. I am a granny and have two gorgeous grand kids called Hannah and Luke and my daughter Ruth who live close by”


“My Husband and I owned a cafe on the Ravenhill Road and I loved working there and getting to chat to all our customers. We lived all our lives in Belfast and when it came to the weekend I would go to the dances with my friends and my sister. We would all get the train into town, I really loved the dances”


“I moved to belfast for love after falling for my husband when he was in Jamaica where I am originally from. For a long time I worked as a children’s nurse taking care of children who weren’t well and now I live here with my budgies! I love this place - the people have always been so firendly, it’s my favourite thing about East Belfast and it felt like home when I moved here from so far away.”


"I’m 17 now and grew up in Belfast. I went to Priory integrated college and I am now studying. I live on the Woodstock Road and am a member of the East Belfast Alternatives youth group”


“I’ve lived in East Belfast for over 20 years but growing up I went to 6 different schools all over Northern Ireland. I was actually a civil servant for 18 years before I decided to join the church and work as a minister. I had been living in England for a while and then in the summer of the year I moved back the trouble at Drumcree happened and it was a scary time to be home but things have gotten much better and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the world”


“I live in Sydenham Court now but I grew up in Ballyshannon in Donegal. We had a big family - I was one of eleven children, six boys and five girls and I loved to work in my fathers grocery store. Later I went to Dublin for school and then onto Trinity College. I got married and had 3 children. I first moved to Kilkeel and then to Belfast”


“I moved to belfast for love after falling for my husband when he was in Jamaica where I am originally from. For a long time I worked as a children’s nurse taking care of children who weren’t well and now I live here with my budgies! I love this place - the people have always been so firendly, it’s my favourite thing about East Belfast and it felt like home when I moved here from so far away.”


“I grew up in Ballysillan with my mum, dad and brother. I had four children and now have grandchildren and great grandchildren who I love. For years I worked in the mill at Lionel and then selling ice creams in the picture house on the Crumlin Road and now I live in East Belfast. I used to love going to the dances at Sammy Lecky’s in town for a night out. ”


"I spend most of my spare time hanging out in coffee shops around East Belfast writing. People sometimes ask me why I don't write at home where it's quiet and there's nothing to distract me but I find people endlessly intriguing. I am, essentially, a very nosey person. I like watching people. I like listening in on their conversations and watching how they interact with each other. I get all my best ideas from other people. It's dangerous being around me. You could easily find yourself popping up in a story." 



“I have a tender heart. I feel things deeply and as a child I was teased for being too sensitive. So I shut down. I didn't cry for years and instead wore my toughness like a suit of armour, refusing to be vulnerable or show any kind of feeling. The problem with this however, is that you can’t pick which emotions you shut down. It’s an all or nothing process so the world and life was in greyscale until my heart started to soften. 20years later the sensitive kid is back. I unashamedly cry at the drop of a hat. Whether it's a film, or a puppy (let's face it..all of the puppies), stories of reconciliation or a relationship breakdown. I cry. And I'm ok with that. It's opened my heart to all of the "good" in a world which seems uncertain and sometimes scary. I love being outside and the beautiful vulnerability that accompanies you on a hike or out at sea on a surfboard. It’s just you against the elements and you realise how insignificant you are in the universe. Thus then, how insignificant your problems are. All will be well. I’m passionate about community and the regeneration of Belfast. I’m proud of where i’m from and excited for the city's future. Too much negativity has been spoken over our city and we need to change that. There's a rich heritage of creativity and innovation with a tenacious attitude that needs celebrated. I witnessed how our city united over the migrant crisis in Calais last September, coming together to send lorries packed full of clothing, bedding, toiletries and medical supplies. That's what sets my heart on fire and restores my faith in humanity. I want to see people thrive. Whatever it is that gets you going and makes you flourish - find it and cling to it! I want to see Belfast flourish. Oh and don't be afraid to cry.”