In January 2022 our Walbrook Fund provided a grant to St George’s Toddler and Baby Group based in New Mills.
It had been a tumultuous time for the volunteer led group, having been in existence for over 30 years, the pandemic had seen the group take a blow to their income levels and there was a deep concern that the group might fold without external support. The award from the Walbrook fund provided stability and help with key costs at the right point in time.
The very fact that the playgroup was able to reopen post covid is due to the Foundation Derbyshire award. There were approximately 30 families using the playgroup throughout the first half of 2023.
I would say that it is the unglamorous projects that are often overlooked and most needed. Things that make a difference to someone’s weekly routine but need to happen constantly and reliably to make a difference. These are things such as youth groups, playgroups and meeting places for the elderly. They are often volunteer lead, repetitive to organise and can grind to a halt because the fight to keep them open just becomes too hard.
Early years (0-5 years) experiences and opportunities are vital to the development of children. Playgroups offer social connection and engaging activities, plus they offer crucial peer support to parents and carers – building friendships and reducing the chance of isolation.
“The group has been a huge part of our weekly routine and has certainly saved my sanity on more than one occasion. It was the first group we came to after moving to New Mills it made me realize we’d made the right decision.”
“So many playgroups have gone and so many children have been alone during the pandemic it’s great to get them back together.”