Whitley Wood Playgroup

A project by: Daisy Powell

pledged of £8,310 target
Please help us keep the Whitley Wood Playgroup alive to give children a head start with literacy.

A short summary of our project

We are raising money to support the Whitley Wood Playgroup, a thriving community-led group whose aim is to develop young children’s love of books. We run free weekly parent-toddler sessions held at Whitley Wood Community Centre, involving storybook reading and linked activities. Funding for the Playgroup is coming to an end, and we are now seeking £8310, which would sustain the playgroup for a full year.

Who are we?

We are a group of researchers based at the Institute of Education. Dr Daisy Powell and Prof Holly Joseph lead the project, and Ms Elli Walker and Ms Rainna Puno-Levett are Whitley-based community researchers who were involved in setting up the project, and now run the playgroup sessions.

our story

The Whitley Wood Playgroup was set up as part of a participatory research project funded by the University, which aimed to consult with the Whitley Wood community to co-produce a series of ten, storybook-focussed playgroup sessions which would be engaging and appealing to toddlers and their parents. The sessions are aimed at developing children’s enthusiasm for books and reading, as this has been shown to be strongly linked to literacy learning and to progress at school more generally. The sessions are free, and children can take home copies of books to keep, allowing them to develop a library of books at home. The project has been really successful, but the funded series of 10 sessions are now coming to an end and we desperately need funding to keep this vital resource going, as has recently been reported by the BBC

Where will the money go?

  • £8310 will fund 40 sessions over the coming year (roughly every week during school term-time.
  • Books are at the heart of the project, and £2510 will be spent on books, for the sessions leaders to read from, and on key occasions (10 of the 40 sessions) families will be able to take home a free copy of the storybook to keep, so children can develop and keep their own library of books at home.
  • A further £4000 will cover staffing costs, so that Elli and Rainna can continue to lead the sessions they have so successfully established.
  • £800 has been allocated for materials for the fun, book-related activities children engage in each week.
  • £600 will cover the costs of renting the space at the Community Centre for the year.
  • £400 for refreshments for children and their parents.

Images and video

Find us here

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Help us succeed!

  • You don't need to give money to help us succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think would support us – on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog.
  • In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a great idea, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.
  • And we know we said you don't need to give money to help us, but we'd love it if you did! Please sponsor us and help make this happen.