The Mirror News

Welshpool and District Playgroup wins state award

WELSHPOOL and District Playgroup is the proud winner of the June 2014 Playgroup of the Month award.

The group won the award because of the outstanding effort it made to bring the playgroup back to life.

In eighteen months the playgroup has grown from four to twelve families with around twenty children, thanks largely to a Facebook page set up for the playgroup by president Lisa Monod-De-Froideville (also known as Lisa Lees) and secretary DeAnna Brown. As well, free ads were placed with Yarram and Foster Buy Swap and Sell online sites, local noticeboards and maternal and child health centre. A friend and graphic designer created a new playgroup logo and an outdoor banner was organised and used at a sausage sizzle fundraiser at the Yarram Woolworths store.

“We’re thrilled to have won the award. It’s awesome!” said Lisa.

“We worked very hard to get more people to come to playgroup, so it’s great to have our efforts acknowledged,” said DeAnna.

Families come from Welshpool, Yarram, Binginwarrii, Woorarra, Port Franklin, Port Welshpool, Foster, Toora, Hedley and Alberton to the playgroup every Wednesday morning. Most are dairy farmers, some run small businesses.

Why was the playgroup saved?

“I needed it,” Lisa said. “I don’t have any of my own immediate family here. I was new to the area and needed to meet other people with small children.

“A lot of people’s husbands are dairy farmers. They get up at 5am and might not be home until 8pm that night. It’s a long time to be by yourself and playgroup eases the remoteness.”

The playgroup was established back in 1997. It meets at the kindergarten in Welshpool every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm. For a fee of just $2 per family per week, plus membership of Playgroup Victoria, there is a wealth of toys, games and equipment for the children to share, inside and outside. There are also kitchen facilities and everyone shares snacks. Caregivers and their children aged anywhere from a few months to pre-school are welcome. Currently, ages range from three months to four years. New members are welcome.

The Playgroup of the Month award is a Playgroup Victoria initiative that acknowledges good work being done by a playgroup in its community. Nominations are made by Playgroup Victoria staff.

Playgroup Victoria is this year celebrating 40 years of supporting families to find and start playgroups that suits their needs best and providing resources to make for a rich playgroup experience.

For further information about Welshpool and District Playgroup, contact the playgroup on Facebook or phone Lisa on 5688 1371 or 0409 179 235 – or just go along to the kindergarten in Welshpool on a Wednesday morning.

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