The children at Little Acorns Cross Community Pre-School, situated on the grounds of Derryboy Primary School near Crossgar, have been learning the ropes of their new outdoor pirate play ship, ‘The Jolly Friendship’, which has been provided by funding from the Energy for Children Charitable Trust to help boost the schools’ outdoor play equipment.
Little Acorns is a self-funded pre-school which was established in 2019 to provide a play based learning environment for local children. The pre-school supports 16 children from across Crossgar, Saintfield and Killyleagh, accessible to children and families across all sections of the local community.
With imaginative play critical for creative development and wellbeing, Little Acorns has been working to grow their outdoor facilities to enhance the learning experience and opportunities for the children attending, but needed a funding boost to get the project started.
As Michelle Mullan from the Little Acorns Pre-School Management Committee explains: “Outdoor play is so important for young children in their personal development as well as their educational experience, it encourages them to explore, get active, use their imagination and stimulate their senses through touching, hearing, seeing and feeling, something which has been more important than ever over the last 18 months.
“With the support of the Energy for Children Charitable Trust we have installed a new wooden pirate ship which will be the ‘anchor’ for our outdoor play space which we will continue to grow as our fundraising allows. We are so grateful to the Energy for Children Charitable Trust for their support and for enabling us to develop a space for the children to enjoy, play with their friends and learn.”
Charity Liaison Officer, Gillian Orr said, “We are so pleased to see how much of a difference the funding has made to the entire community at Little Acorns Pre-School which is providing a much needed service to the local community.
“This is exactly why the Charity exists, to help local children who are most in need and to provide facilities and equipment to make things better for them”, added Gillian.
Energy for Children is an initiative of Phoenix Energy and the wider natural gas industry. The Charity was established in 2005 to provide financial support to groups and individuals that may slip through the net of the wider charity network.
Founded on the principle that ‘all monies raised go directly to local children and young people’, the Trust aims to reach deeper into the heart of local communities throughout Greater Belfast and beyond in order to really make a difference to disadvantaged children’s lives.
Since its formation, the trust has helped over 8,000 local children and continues to help those who need it most.
For more information on the Energy for Children Charitable Trust, visit www.phoenixnaturalgas.com/about-us/phoenix-group/corporate-responsibility