Sunshine group celebrates their 30th

Members of Sunshine Community Playgroup
Members of Sunshine Community Playgroup

Lisburn Mayor Thomas Beckett wasn’t the only special guest at the opening of the Forest School at Sunshine Community Playgroup in Ballinderry recently.

Superman, Supergirl and Captain America also dropped by to join in the celebrations.

Sunshine Community Playgroup began just over three decades ago, when forward-thinking mums held a playgroup in their garage.

As it grew in popularity, it moved to its current location in the Killultagh Orange Hall in the late 80’s.

The playgroup developed and was awarded funded places for pre-school in 1990, which provided much needed pre-school places for the expanding local community. Sunshine has strong links with the three local primary schools, Ballinderry, Ballycarrickmaddy and Ballymacrickett with the majority of the children moving on to one of the school’s classes.

The celebrations started with the official opening of the Forest School by the Mayor Thomas Beckett.

The philosophy of the Forest School is to encourage and inspire the children through positive outdoor experiences.

It is expected the children will make use of the Forest School throughout the year going into the woods in all weathers.

Mr Beckett thanked the parents, on behalf of Sunshine whose hard work and dedication made the Forest School possible.

During his speech he also congratulated all the staff of Sunshine for their hard work and efforts.

Recently, the playgroup received a ‘very good’ DENI inspection report and presented the staff with the certificate.

Mr Beckett later cut the 30th birthday cake.

As well as face painting, there were performances from children of Ballycarrickmaddy, Ballinderry and Ballymacrickett Primary Schools and local musician Kyle Suckling played as well.

Gwen McCrea, playgroup leader, also thanked the staff for their dedication and enthusiasm which has made Sunshine a success over the 30 years.