A local group which supports children with disabilities and their families has recently secured vital funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
Abbey Allsorts Special Needs Playgroup was allocated a grant of £1,875 from the fund.
The group, which is based in Whiteabbey Community Centre, currently caters for 15 children with physical and learning disabilities as well as their siblings.
It operates each Saturday from noon until 2pm. The playgroup was established in July by Ursula Clyde.
Ursula said: “We knew there was a need for a group like this in the area and since we started, we’ve grown steadily. We’ve children coming from Mossley, Rathcoole, Whiteabbey and Monkstown.
“My granddaughter Lucie Jameson has a rare gene condition which mirrors Cerebral Palsy and I’ve a grandson with autism. There was nowhere really that would let the kids mix, which is why we started the group so children with any form of disability could play together.”
She added: “This funding will be very beneficial. At the start we were putting our own money into it and relying on donated toys. We were doing arts and crafts and things like that, but we knew we’d need better things.
“With the aid of the funding we’re wanting to get sensory equipment, balance activities and other specialised apparatus.”
The group will start back on January 6 after the Christmas break. New members welcome.