Little Friends Playgroup – Member in Focus #38

Interview with Clara Maybin from Little Friends Playgroup

Tell us a bit about yourself and/or your organisation.

My name is Clara Maybin and I am the Chairperson for Little Friends Playgroup in Strathroy in Omagh. We are a registered charity with over 30 years experience in early years child care. We service a socially disadvantaged area, giving young children an excellent start in life. We cater for pre pre school age and pre school age. From 2 & 10 months to 4 years old.

How well have you/your organisation adapted to the pandemic?

We’ve adapted our ways here at Little Friends by creating home learning packs that are changed on a weekly basis and collected from our premises by parents. We love to see the photographs coming through of the children using their home learning packs.

How well have people/organisations in your area collaborated throughout the pandemic?
As a registered charity and a voluntary organisation, we do find it difficult at times to get assistance, however more recently the Education Authority and the local council have been great. I do think that a playgroup support network would be great in the local area, where playgroups can bounce ideas and grant openings off each other.
What key needs are becoming apparent and/or are likely to arise this year?

With Covid 19 still a huge factor in our world right now, we still need to plan for the worst. We have little staff due to no funding being provided for staffing costs. For example, if a member is off with Covid, we have no cover. We also have a child with special needs who will need 1 to 1 assistance every day and it would be great to hire in that extra pair of hands so we can provide an excellent standard of care and learning for all our children.

ASK: What do you need, right now, that the members of Community Network NI and/or the wider community may be able to help you with?
Right now we need cash donations to allow us to hire an extra member of staff. Grants that are available DO NOT cover staff wages unfortunately. 
👋 If you would like to respond to this ask, please follow the link below and enter “LITTLE FRIENDS PLAYGROUP” to the first field.

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