PUPILS at Roddensvale School will soon be reaping the benefits of a much-needed extension to their playground, after the school secured a funding windfall of £49,000 from a national charity.
Wooden Spoon is the charity of British and Irish Rugby supporting mentally, physically and socially disadvantaged children and young people across the UK and Republic of Ireland. The charity organises its own fundraising initiatives, and since 1997 it has donated over £500,000 to Northern Ireland-based projects.
Members of the Roddensvale community had started to raise money for an playground extension when local Spoon representative Tom Lyttle stepped in to offer assistance.
The project is set to commence over the Halloween break and will take three to four weeks to complete. And on Tuesday, rugby legend Willie John McBride MBE attended the school along with Governors and guests from NEELB to cut the first sod.
Mr McBride, who played at international level for Ireland and toured with the British and Irish Lions, is a major supporter of the Wooden Spoon charity.
Principal John Madden said: “I am delighted to be expanding the opportunities for all our pupils to learn through the medium of play, and the associated benefits of physical activity are well documented.
“Aspects of this facility will be enjoyed by the entire school population and will be a tremendous boost for to the provision for pupils at Roddensvale.
“We appreciate the fundraising efforts made by the Roddensvale community initially, and everyone is delighted that the Wooden Spoon organisation has got behind the scheme to support the majority of the costs.
“We are indebted to the generosity of those associated with the charity and also the organisers who create events to focus fundraising for projects such as our own.”
A number of members of Roddensvale staff will be attending the Wooden Spoon annual fundraising dinner tonight (Thursday) at the Culloden Hotel.