After six years at Deniliquin Playgroup, mother of three, Lauren Kelly reflects on how she first got involved with her local playgroup and then became an active volunteer.
“After I had my first child I began attending a New Mothers' Group. It was there that I was first introduced to my local playgroup, through an introductory session where mums would attend and volunteers would explain what playgroup has to offer.”
“It didn’t take me long to start attending the Deniliquin Playgroup and then in 2012, I became Treasurer, just before my second child was born. As Treasurer, I would keep track of the playgroup’s funds and paid all the bills.
“Halfway through 2013, I fell into being the Coordinator of the Deniliquin Playgroup which runs four sessions during the week. Each session has a leader and I manage the overall playgroup, including the committee where we make the overall decisions such as what toys we are going to buy and what fundraising we are going to do.”
“When I first became the Coordinator, we had moved into a new location as our old venue was being demolished after 40 years. We lost most of our 'inbuilt' equipment, so we decided to apply to the Bendigo Bank for a grant to put a bike track at our new location.”
“I really enjoyed working on this project as I was required to work with our new landlords, get quotes on our bike track proposal and submit a grant proposal. The hard work paid off when we received the good news that our application was successful and we would receive funding of just under $10,000.”
“This funding has gone a long way, enabling us to install a new bike track and we had a slab laid under our shed and have purchased new stackable and foldable kid sized chairs and tables. By next summer, we will be getting a shade sail over our sandpit.”
“I have really enjoyed my time both as a volunteer and as a parent with the Deniliquin Playgroup. Some of my first child’s friends at playgroup are now his best friends and some of my best friends are people who I met at the playgroup.”
“I’m not a local and I didn’t grow up here so playgroup for me and my children was a fantastic way to meet people. We have been on excursions with other families and mums get together to talk about things. My children have learnt sharing and playing together, probably a lot earlier because they have been at playgroup since birth.”
“Overall it’s been a really good experience and I say to those thinking about joining a playgroup, definitely do it!”