|Dimboola Playgroup received the Community Playgroup of the Year for Rural/Regional Victoria title at an event held in Melbourne last Friday.
The Playgroup Victoria annual awards presentation was held at the Melbourne Aquarium last week.
Hannah Young from the Dimboola Playgroup said that they are elated at bringing home this title.
“We’re super proud of this considering the size of our town compared to some of the towns and playgroups we were up against. We’re up against places like Woodend and Ocean Grove and Bright which are much bigger and have more support from other services.
“However we’re entirely volunteer-run and we source all of our own funding.”
Pictured above, back: Liam, Ollie, Mason, Leo, Aiden. Front: Harry, Ryan, Claire.
The Playgroup relaunched in 2015 and has gone from strength-to-strength since then.
This year they have been working on a range of projects, including a complete overhaul of the interior of their space.
Hannah said that this included painting, decorating, toys, play equipment, learning games and puzzles. This work was possible by bringing together funding from a number of sources, including Hindmarsh Shire Council, Wimmera Uniting Care and the Horsham Sports and Community Club.
The committee has raised over $30,000 in funds themselves over the last three years which has allowed them to further improve their space, making it a high-quality environment inside and out for children aged 0 to 5 years.
Another noteworthy initiative by the Playgroup is their regular ‘family fun days’. Hannah said that these aim to further build social connections.
“One weekend a term we gather to share a lunch and invite other family members such as grandparents, fathers, aunties etc to meet socially and participate in an activity.
“This term we held a pony picnic complete with pony rides which was a huge success and lots of families, including some new families, attended.”
The initiatives which saw the Playgroup take out the award are numerous, with regular visits to the local nursing home, offering a first-aid training night, and excursions to local natural attractions contributing to the group’s win.
The work won’t stop now after the group’s award win.
Hannah said that they have been successful in raising enough money to have several play structures custom built to add to their outdoor environment, thanks to donations from individuals, fundraising activities, Bendigo Bank and the Horsham Sports and Community Club.
If people are interested in seeing what goes on at Dimboola Playgroup they are welcome to come along on Mondays from 9am to 10.30am or Thursday from 10am to 11.30am, request to join the Dimboola Playgroup group on Facebook, or can contact Hannah Young on 0409 039 606.
“We’d always love to have more people at our ‘award winning playgroup’!”
Congratulations to the Dimboola Playgroup for this excellent achievement, and keep up the great work!