Posted by: Belinda Hargreaves
Tue 13th February 2024
Banana Buttons is a playgroup for children and their parents/carers which takes place on Wednesdays afternoons at Saint Thomas Church in Somercotes.
Victoria Jones, who lives in Somercotes, runs the not-for-profit playgroup with a fellow mum, Liz Ujoh.
Here, Victoria tells the Spirit of Alfreton how it all began: “In September 2023, we noticed that after Covid a lot of the local playgroups hadn’t re opened and those that had were expensive, far away or you needed to book online to attend.
“With that and the closure of the local children’s centre we really wanted to fill in the gap and create an affordable playgroup that didn’t need to cost the earth and was flexible with mums’ busy schedules so you don’t have to remember to book on or do anything online. Just a traditional playgroup where you can turn up and have a chat with other parents while the kids play for only £1.50.
“Mother Imogen, the vicar at Saint Thomas Church Somercotes kindly said the church could be used in exchange for a donation and Banana Buttons Playgroup was born.”
Victoria continued: “Liz found a monkey puppet to be the official Banana Buttons mascot and continues to organise refreshments and crafts; while I think of sensory play to go in the tuff spot for the children to enjoy.
“The playgroup is a non profit playgroup, all funds go back into the running of the playgroup.
“Liz and I are both busy mums volunteering out of our own time. It is a small but friendly group where parents help when needed with putting toys away and cleaning up afterwards.
“New families are always welcome. We do our best to cater for families who have needs like disabilities and allergies too.
“We have a nursery rhyme bag full of toys or puppets related to nursery rhyme songs and at the end of each session the children take turns taking out one from the bag then we all sing the song.
“At Christmas we had Santa at the Christmas party too and that went down a storm.”
In September 2024, Banana Buttons Playgroup celebrated its first birthday and Victoria and Liz hope to continue to give families with small children somewhere to go and play and mix with other people for many years to come.
Banana Buttons Playgroup is open term time on Wednesdays between 1.30pm and 3pm at Saint Thomas Church, Somercotes.
Admission is £1.50 per child over six months old (under six months are free) and 50p for any additional child. It is aimed at ages 0 to five years but older children are welcome when a parent needs to bring an older child because of school strikes/home schooling, etc.
For further information about Banana Buttons, go to here
To read more youth zone focused Spirit of Alfreton articles, go to here
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