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Habitat volunteer Aileen McAllister, the current Dubai Rose, visited ReStore Ballymena to see first-hand the charity’s impact in the local community.

Dubai Rose, Aileen McAlister, standing in front of ReStore Ballymena, wearing a blue dress and her white competition sash

The current ‘Dubai Rose’, Aileen McAllister visited Habitat ReStore in Ballymena this week, to learn how the social enterprise is changing lives for local people. 

Aileen from Ballymoney was crowned ‘Dubai Rose’ earlier this year, and will compete in the annual Rose of Tralee Festival later this month. The festival, held annually in the town of Tralee in County Kerry, takes its inspiration from a 19th-century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called “The Rose of Tralee”.  

Aileen has volunteered locally and globally with Habitat, visited Habitat ReStorein Ballymena to meet some of the volunteers and see how ReStore supports local people. 

Aileen said,"It has been wonderful to visit Habitat ReStore before setting out on the Rose Tour next week. Having volunteered here at home as well as in Ethiopia and Romania, I have seen first-hand the impact of Habitat’s work. I would encourage others to get involved too!” 

Habitat ReStore, the low-cost DIY store that builds sustainable community, directly tackles poverty here in Ireland. By selling donated new and used building supplies and home improvement materials ReStore enables local people to improve their homes at low cost. ReStore provides skills and employability training for people of all ages and backgrounds and diverts tons of reusable waste from landfill. 

Jenny Williams, Chief Executive of Habitat Ireland, said, “The Habitat family across Ireland is delighted for Aileen, and wish her all the best as she embarks on the Rose Tour next week. Volunteers like Aileen are the hearts and hands and voices for our work and it was great that Aileen took time to meet some of the ReStore Ballymena volunteers”. 

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