New extension at Barra Children’s Centre

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Minnie Mouse and her helpers recently did the honours to officially open the Barra Children’s Centre’s Big Lottery funded new extension.

Minnie Mouse and her helpers unwrapped a funding tree to declare Barra Children’s Centre (BCC) new garden room extension officially open and to thank donors to the project during a family fun day on June 27th.

The event was timed to coincide with the Barrathon junior fun run which started right next to the Chidren’s Centre. Despite the grey weather and travel disruption, children enjoyed a bouncy castle, stalls and face painting.

Refreshing non-alcoholic cocktails and safe holiday advice were provided on the day by Uist and Barra Substance Misuse Partnership along with delicious family food ideas to taste from Hebridean Living’s Eat Better Feel Batter demonstration table.

BCC’s new extension was built thanks to £176,799 from Big Lottery’s Community Spaces Scotland Fun.

Support was also forthcoming from Seafarers UK, STV Appeal and local donors including local ward councillors; Castlebay and Northbay community councils; Castlebay, Isle of Barra and Craigard hotels; Marine Harvest; MacInnes Bros; St. Barrs CSC; Barra Access Panel and the Thrift Shop.

The new extension has been home to Little Adventurer play sessions and other activities in the new space, which has also been home to: Fun Foods parent and toddler cooking sessions; Feis Bharraigh Gaelic drama group; and Thai Chi classes since early this year.

A small grant from Bank of Scotland Foundation has enabled us to offer new Wednesday afternoon Chair Yoga classes which are open to all and has also supported the purchase of IT equipment to deliver Skype music classes and Ceilidhs in our new space in partnership with Feis Bharraigh soon.

Barra Children’s Centre is a voluntary organisation run by a committee of local parents on the Isle of Barra.

The building includes a purpose built nursery unit which is leased to the local authority for statutory nursery provision along with a café space and an adjoining parent and toddler play room with small soft play area.

A recent funding award from Big Lottery’s Community Spaces Scotland enabled the group to build an additional space for under 5’s active play sessions indoors and out.

BCC deliver a program of weekly play sessions for children aged 0-5 and their adults.

This includes: play leader led sessions in Gaelic and English with activities including Bookbug, messy play and Play@home.

There is also partnership work with NHS Western Isles including infant massage sessions and health promotion inputs, Fun Foods and Fun Swim parent and toddler activities.