Enniskillen’s Happy Days prepares for the future

Happy Days Enniskillen, the organisation behind the ten years of Beckett and Wilde festivals in the island town, has been awarded further funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to design new community-led approaches to Enniskillen’s literary and cultural heritage.

Coming after successfully completing the first phase – the EXPLORE Phase – of a three-phase Heritage Innovation Fund programme, this second phase of funding – the TEST Phase – will allow Happy Days’ volunteers to become advocates and activists for cultural heritage in the town – community journalists, creative researchers, and storytellers.

Dr Paul Mullan, Northern Ireland Director for The National Lottery Heritage Fund said, “We are delighted that Happy Days Enniskillen is one of 17 projects progress to the next stage of Heritage Innovation. The cohort approach has already led to some impressive development of skills, confidence and capabilities – we are excited for what they come up with next.


“Investing in innovation supports organisational sustainability, one of our four investment principles, and will ensure that heritage is valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future.”

Co-Chair of the Happy Days’ Board of Trustees, Paul Sternberg says, “It is a great vote of confidence to be the only Northern Ireland organisation to be awarded this second phase of funding as part of the Heritage Innovation Fund.

“Our volunteers hold transformational experiences which have brought a ‘lived’ dimension to the giants of world literature, Samuel Beckett and Oscar Wilde and ways we can celebrate their formative years in Enniskillen. This next phase of the Heritage Innovation Fund support will allow us to co-create with our volunteers exciting new models for literary heritage in Enniskillen and Fermanagh.”

Building on the ten years of international festivals, art installations such as the Flight of the little golden Swallow, the Isle of Enniskillen Beckett Chess set and education programmes, Happy Days Enniskillen is now launching a Co-Creators’ Forum inviting volunteers, schools, local businesses, and community organisations to participate.

Sally Rees, Happy Days Volunteer and Programme Manager says, “Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett are literary gold which we haven’t fully mined. The National Lottery Heritage Fund grant gives us the chance to explore the cultural and economic opportunities with our volunteers, businesses, creative community of artists and young people to extend and develop the creative continuum beyond Beckett and Wilde.”

Volunteers and members of the community are invited to join the Co-Creators’ Forum. The first meeting of the Co-Creators’ Forum will be held on Tuesday 30th April at Fermanagh House (6pm-9pm).

To participate, please contact Sally Rees at:


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