Playgroup needs your support

A LOCAL playgroup has been shortlisted for a major funding award.

NI at Play, based in Lurgan, is now looking for the support of the public to help them secure the cash windfall from Coca-Cola Ireland Thank You Fund.

45 organisations are in for the funding including 13 from Northern Ireland. The winner will receive 25,000 Euro with the 10 runners up getting 10,000 Euro each.

NI at Play was established in December 2009 by Caroline Kerr from Lurgan and Sharon Donnelly from Armagh who had a passion for children’s outdoor play.

It is a social enterprise and registered charity set up to provide children with opportunities to engage in outdoor play.

At the minute the charity is based at Caroline’s home in Lurgan, making visits to schools and youth groups, but the aim is to expand into a designated outdoor play space.

Caroline said: “With the funding we will be able to offer evening, outdoor play sessions to children in the Craigavon area and involve parents by organising a tour of adventure playgrounds in London to see for themselves what is possible.

“If we got the top award we would use it to deliver outdoor play sessions in a designated site in Craigavon, two evenings every two weeks, from September to November 2012, and March to May 2013. The second part of the project is to arrange a study visit for a small group of parents to London’s Adventure Playgrounds to show the structures and positive play opportunities children can access in these spaces.”

The aim of NI at Play is to inspire staff and children to engage more readily with the outdoors whether through arts and crafts, team games or role play.

To vote for NI at Play go to

The closing date for votes is September 30.