New play park for school a wonderful achievement

Children, parents and staff from St Patrick's PS, Newtownstewart, cannot hide their delight as principal Peter Torney cuts the ribbon to open the new lay area at the school, also blessing the project was Rev Roland Colhoun.  MC 21

Children, parents and staff from St Patrick’s PS, Newtownstewart, cannot hide their delight as principal Peter Torney cuts the ribbon to open the new play area at the school. Also blessing the project was Rev Roland Colhoun. MC 21

NEWTOWNSTEWART parents who initiatived a massive fund-raising campaign for their local school have finally saw their dreams realised. 

In recent days St Patrick’s PS proudly opened up its brand new £20,000 play park. 

Fund-raising  began five years ago when interested parents decided to take on the role of delivering a new playground for the school. 

“We were aware that our primary school was the only one in the area that didn’t have a play park,” said Olive Gallagher, one of the members of the Parents Support Group. 

“Five years ago we embarked on a huge fund-raising campaign to help deliver a park for the school. We worked closely with the school principal Peter Torney and we offered to help with extra curriculum issues.”

Numerous fund-raising events were held, from  sponsored walks to steak nights, culminating with a Strictly Come Dancing event that raised a staggering £13,000 to allow the park plans to proceed.

Taking two and a half weeks to complete the play park was opened to pupils just last week and Olive explained the reaction has been amazing, “Everyone absolutely loves the play park.

“ It caters to all the pupils from primary one to primary seven. There are also play houses which encourages outdoor teaching and I know Mr McGlone has already taken his class outside for story telling.”

Praising the principal Peter Torney for his foresight Olive added, “He was an absolute pleasure to work with. As parents we where aware of the budget cuts the school was facing and we wanted to support Mr Torney as much as we could.”

Olive will stand down from the parent’s support group in June when her youngest child leaves St Patrick’s but she is encouraging other parents to get involved. 

“Our work was an appreciation to Mr Torney and all the staff at St Patrick’s and just look at what we have achieved.” Olive added, 
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement in the Parents Support Group and on behalf of all the parents I would like to thank everyone who contributed in any way to this play park. It is a wonderful achievement for the entire community.” 

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