As any of us who have done a renovation could attest it takes a lot of time and quite often money. Imagine if you had an army of volunteers knock on your door and ask if they could help with your project. Believe us it can happen and the inspirational new nature playground at our High Wycombe Family Centre is exhibit A.
Towards the end of last year the educators at High Wycombe began a collaboration with the children asking them what they would like in their outdoor play area. This question led to many creative opportunities to engage, discover and teach the children about sustainability, the environment, construction and many more topics cleverly disguised as play based learning. The children came up with an impressive plan for the outdoor area now all we had to do was win Lotto to make their dreams a reality, little did we know the winning ticket was already on the way!
Our senior co-ordinator Pat Hope received a call from Volunteering WA. They had a 40 strong team of volunteers available for three days work the following month and asked, “could you use them?”! Pat didn’t hesitate. After saying yes she put down the phone and thought, “ Right… now where do we get all the stuff!?” If you have ever met our pocket rocket Pat you will know this was a question that wouldn’t take long to answer.
Numerous calls later Pat had secured assistance from Bunnings Midland, the Shire of Kalamunda, in fact a whole raft of local community businesses came together to make the children’s dream a reality and provide the hardware and equipment for this special makeover from logs and woodchips, to sand, plants, even a mud kitchen we couldn’t have asked for more!
Standing in the middle of the organised chaos Pat was in charge of bringing the children’s dream to life. With temperatures peaking in the high thirties – and on one day 41 – the team threw their heart into this project (one threw his ribs in but a quick trip to the doctor for a once over and he was back in the thick of things!) and at the end of day three it was obvious the vision had been achieved, an environment which connects children with nature, a sense of adventure and subsequent learning through play.
In 2017 we encourage everyone in the local community to come down and have a look at what we have achieved together and to become part of our newly invigorated Family and Children Centre at High Wycombe. Along with our Early Learning program for 2 – 4 year olds we run playgroups, art workshops, first aid classes.. in fact if you are planning a community event or run a course and are looking for venue hire give us a call and we can work together.
In 2017 we offer unique Childcare and Early Years Education in Perth in line with the Early Years Learning Framework. This includes extended Early Learning Programs and Playgroups (Meerilinga are proud members of Playgroup WA).