Connecting over a Cuppa
After a shared morning tea and plenty of play, the local Walking Group left Prebbleton Playcentre with a koha, which went towards purchasing new books. They also invited the kids to join them on one of their walks.
At the start of the year, the families at Prebbleton Playcentre decided that making themselves more recognisable in the community was a top priority. What they discovered was that there were other groups in the community eager to connect.
As President Stephanie Broomhall explains, ‘there are so many new families moving into the area and we wanted to make sure that they knew who we were and what we had to offer’.
They started by contacting the local school and inviting the Year 1 class along for a morning of messy play. Stephanie adds that ‘one teacher ended up enrolling her daughter’.
Having invited along a group of youngsters, they spotted another opportunity to connect – when across the domain the Prebbleton Walking Group passed by. With 62 members enjoying regular walks in the community, the group is active and visible.
Stephanie didn’t want this opportunity to continue to pass them by so invited the Prebbleton Walkers to stop in for a cup of tea one Tuesday. She was delighted with their enthusiastic response.
‘We had half-promised to make scones, but things got a little busy and the scones didn’t happen. Luckily all our families brought along yummy food to share’, says Stephanie. ‘We sat on the deck in the beautiful sunshine, and enjoyed each other’s company.’
The morning started with a karakia. ‘One lady from the group was so enthusiastic, she stood on the deck and sang the karakia for all the children. She had a beautiful voice.’ It would seem that the urge to sing and play is something that sticks with you. ‘One gentleman was eager to get out the facepaints!’ Stephanie laughs.
The centre buzzed with activity and conversations. ‘We’re grandparents, and it was lovely to see what our young members of the community are up to’, says Hilary from the Walking Group. She adds that ‘the kids were certainly outnumbered that day’.
But, as Stephanie points out, ‘it wasn’t at all intimidating. They had a lovely, easy presence and made themselves at home. Our kids loved it!’
Before saying their goodbyes, the group presented the Playcentre families with a koha, which was used to purchase new books for the centre.
As Stephanie says, this is just the beginning. ‘It’s our turn to join them on one of their walks. It’ll be a great opportunity for the kids to explore and for us to reconnect.’ Of course, for these seasoned walkers, it may be a particularly slow trip – ‘the kids are bound to stop to collect treasures on the way’.
Hilary is quick to point out that, ‘it was just an ordinary day, involving two community groups coming together’.
‘It was a lovely day’, echoes Stephanie. And isn’t that always the way when people come together over a cuppa? Even without the scones.
By Kate Barber