Volunteering... do you have some time to spare? Then come and join our friendly team!

The volunteers at The Ballance House have varied roles, all of which aim to provide a friendly welcome at the restored farmhouse and ensure you have an enjoyable and informative visit.  This is where John Ballance, who went on to become one of New Zealand’s more enlightened Premiers, was born.

How you could get involved

You could get involved in tasks such as a Helper or Guide for visiting community and school groups or you might enjoy helping out with the children’s crafts and face-painting, or the tea barn catering, car parking and setup teams at events.  If you have existing experience and skills for example in areas such as first aid, catering or customer service for example you may particularly enjoy being involved at our events.  Maintaining the property is another job that keeps the volunteers busy looking after The Ballance House for our visitors.

We can also give you access to training in areas such as first aid or food hygiene.

Whether you are interested in a one-off activity or a longer-term commitment, we would like to talk to you.

Reasons to volunteer

·   Do something different and learn new skills

·  Do a few hours once a month and help at our busy and fun events

·    Be a part of the conservation of our historic property

·  Meet like-minded people and make new friends.


Mayor recognises Volunteers' contributions

A big thank you to the Right Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Brian Bloomfield MBE of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, the Mayoress, Rosalind Bloomfield, and council staff who received our volunteers for an evening recently in Lagan Valley Island. The Mayor spoke about the many merits of volunteering in the community and how The Ballance House thrives from the time and efforts that volunteers give – and yes, Ireland-New Zealand rugby was mentioned! We were treated to a delicious meal prior to the Mayor and Mayoress giving us a tour of the Council Chamber and the Mayor’s Parlour where we viewed most interesting exhibits and artworks. We were pleased to be able to support the Mayor’s charity, TinyLife, the premature and vulnerable baby charity. Many thanks for a lovely evening.

Strawberry Tea Fair 2016

A great day was had at the Strawberry Tea Fair!   A marvellous range of crafters were here along with Loughall Bees, the RSPB and Ulster Wildlife Trust and Jumping Clay for the children.  The strawberries and cream disappeared fast along with the delicious home baking in the tea barn.  Children went home with very cute clay strawberry magnets and enjoyed crafting with one of our volunteers, Linda.  Even the rain shower did not stop play – thanks Lisburn City for the gazebos which were invaluable.  Thanks to everyone who supported us, including our fantastic volunteers and lovely stallholders.  Browse the gallery /strawberry-tea/

Strawberry Tea Fair, Saturday 23 July

The annual Strawberry Tea Fair is a lovely afternoon out at The Ballance House.  A great range of art and crafts will be available to purchase and prizes to win from the ever-popular Tombola! This year creative crafts for the children include fun with Jumping Clay and we also have the RSPB telling us lots about wildlife.  Along with cakes and sandwiches available in the Tea Barn, there will be a bowl of delicious strawberries and cream/ice cream for everyone.  See you on Saturday 23 July, 12 noon – 4 pm at The Ballance House.

Volunteers Needed!

UNZT is very keen to attract new volunteers to join our core group of dedicated regular volunteers to staff the house during opening hours (Sundays, 2-5 pm, April to September) and at our special events.  Volunteers at The Ballance House are a cheerful,happy, hard-working group and The Ballance House is an attractive historic property, offering an interesting and fulfilling volunteering opportunity.

If you could spare a few hours or know someone who would enjoy acting as a Tour Guide (training will be given), or assist in the Tea Barn or at events please contact us.  We’d love to hear from you!

Congratulations to all our Competition winners

We have a host of winners for the Spring Fair Photography and children's Colouring-in competitions.  Mike Thompson and Philip McVeigh submitted winning photographic entries - congratulations to you both.  Well done also to Lilly Holden, Emily Hunt and Grace McConnell who produced beautiful coloured-in pictures.  Still to be awarded, is a prize for growing the tallest sunflower - entries to be in by 23 July to win a family pass to Sunflowerfest!


Spring Fair at The Ballance House

The Spring Fair on Saturday 7 May, 1 - 4 pm, promises to be a great fun afternoon out for all the family, including activities for children and time to relax in the Tea Barn.  

We have a lovely range of stalls - including fresh flowers from Foliage Works, prints by local artist Lawrence Chambers, delicious jams and chutneys from Annie’s Delights, Indigo Dream Angels, Holden’s Chocolates, and Whispering Willow candles.   A colourful selection of plants and pots will also be for sale.

We are very pleased to have the RSPB and Ulster Wildlife Trust along to promote wildlife, a theme which we will also be picking up in our photography competition - one of the categories being Best Wildlife/Outdoors Photo at the Fair.

Great prizes have been provided for the photography competition - a meal for two at The Hillside, dinner at Alfredos, a print from Lawrence Chambers, family passes to Lisburn LeisurePlex and a piece of Reaction jewellery from Visit Lisburn & Castlereagh.  So don’t forget to bring your camera!

Plant and take home a sunflower seed in a pot, grow it on to be the tallest and win a family pass to Sunflower Fest in Hillsborough, the coolest music and arts festival this summer.


Anzac Commemoration 2016

The 101st anniversary of the Allied landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula will be commemorated at the Ballance House on Sunday 24th April 2016. Included in the landings on that dreadful morning in 1915 were the ANZAC Corps and the 29th British Division which included 1st Battalion Royal lnniskilling Fusiliers, 1st Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers and 1st Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers. It was later in the campaign that 10th (Irish) Division landed at Suvla Bay in an effort to break the stale-mate. The Dublins and Munsters landed from the SS River Clyde on 25th April 1915 and were decimated as they came ashore. The ANZACs were landed a mile from their planned landing place further up the coast and came under immediate heavy sustained fire. This was the first occasion on which the ANZACs had answered the request of the Mother Country for help in time of war and in so doing suffered horrendously. In New Zealand and Australia, ANZAC day is remembered with pride to this very day with many thousands making the pilgrimage back to Gallipoli.