Big resurgence for Gwelup playgroup in 25th year

Gwelup Community Corner members Shelley Ahmad with Parker (3), Leah Holmes with Carly (1) and Josie (3), Dayle Williams and Chris Hoetzel with Henry (3).  Photo: David Baylis
Gwelup Community Corner members Shelley Ahmad with Parker (3), Leah Holmes with Carly (1) and Josie (3), Dayle Williams and Chris Hoetzel with Henry (3). Photo: David Baylis

A GWELUP playgroup has experienced a huge resurgence in its 25th year.

Gwelup Community Corner playgroup has 173 children enrolled from 112 families, up from 94 children from 36 families in 2018.

The group, which has run at Colin Moore Community Centre since 1996, is celebrating its 25th anniversary after starting in 1994 with 33 four-year-olds enrolled.

Secretary Dayle Williams said the jump in enrolments was helped by a Lotterywest grant used to update old equipment and furniture last year and the City of Stirling’s installation of a playground earlier this year.

She believed the playgroup offered a place to meet neighbours and make friends, while many children joined as babies with a mother’s group and continued together at school.

“Our children become aware of their wider community and also build social skills to get them school ready,” she said.

“With parents increasingly isolated from extended family, playgroup also offers a great place for parents to gather with other parents for support and friendship.”

Ms Williams joined the playgroup with her five-year-old son four years ago and her two-year-old daughter has been attending since she was a baby.

“My children love it and I’m so glad our playgroup runs during school holidays as I think I’d go crazy with the nagging about when they can go back,” she said.

“Both my children have developed friendships with other children and adults and learnt how to share and play with others also.

“It’s also a great way to share and learn about other activities, ideas and problem solving when it comes to raising children.”

Leah Holmes with Josie (3) and Carly (1), Dayle Williams, Chris Hoetzel with Henry (3) and Shelley Ahmad with Parker (3). Photo: David Baylis

Gwelup resident Leah Holmes joined the group in 2016, with her three children all attending, and said it was beneficial to children and parents.

“I love the mum friends I have made and look forward to having a coffee and a chat with them each week,” she said.

“There is lots of fun and interesting things to do for the kids and it’s an automatic play date each week.”

Sessions run mornings and afternoons at the centre on North Beach Road in Gwelup and there is availability for new groups on Wednesday and Thursday from 12pm to 2.30pm.

For a free trial to join an existing group or form one, email enrolmentsgccplaygroup@gmail.com.

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