Race to help deliver ‘key services in the heart of village’

Joanne Connolly and Ann O'Brien from Feeny Community Association.

Joanne Connolly and Ann O'Brien from Feeny Community Association.

Two community groups in Feeny have come up with a fundraiser they hope will help them continue to provide “key services in the heart of the village”.

Feeny Community Association and Banagher Playgroup say they struggle to raise much needed funding, but they hope the fundraiser on March 13th - The Feeny Fast & Furious 10k - will give them a much needed boost financially.

Banagher Playgroup.

Banagher Playgroup.

Marie-Claire McCoy describes Banagher Playgroup as “a wonderful haven for pre-school children tucked in a safe and private corner of Feeny”.

“The aim of the Playgroup is to provide learning through play for three-to-four year olds as stipulated by the Department of Education, taking into account all aspects of child development and considering the needs of individual children. The staff are committed to providing a quality learning environment with safe, secure and supportive surroundings as stipulated by Western Health Social Care Trust,” she said.

However, over the last couple of years the Playgroup has suffered a reduction in the value of their grant from the Department of Education “and opportunities to apply for grants for running costs have not been available”.

“This year, we are predicted to have a deficit in our funding of £3,143. It was because of this, an idea started between some friends and parents to organise a 10k run. After months of planning we have just a few days left before the big day,” explained Marie Claire.

Walkers Ailish Guy, Louise Kealy, Sheena Mc Laughlin are looking forward to the event.

Walkers Ailish Guy, Louise Kealy, Sheena Mc Laughlin are looking forward to the event.

Ann O’Brien from Feeny Community Association said they rely heavily on funding to run a variety of programmes, but it is difficult to get funds.

“We need funds to deliver services and maintain our building. We run a variety of classes, from yoga, to kids’ classes, classes for older members of the community, a farmers’ market, a summer scheme and other classes, and they are well attended. Every year we try to come up with something we think would be well supported. This year, between ourselves and the Playgroup, we came up with the run,” said Ann.

Both Marie-Claire and Ann urge anyone who loves walking or running to take part on Sunday.

“We promise you a beautiful rural route and lots of surprises along the way.

Gettting ready for Easter at Banagher Playgroup

Gettting ready for Easter at Banagher Playgroup

“We have 40 local volunteers helping on the day proving that Feeny has a true community spirit. There’ll be music, fancy dress, ice baths, masseurs, hot soup and sandwiches to welcome you over the finishing line making this one of the year’s best 10K events in the country; definitely not to be missed,” added Marie Claire.

Among those lacing up for the event is Joanne Connolly, who has been getting used to the 10K route as part of her training.

“If I can do it then anyone can,” said Joanne, who explained the route takes in some breathtaking views of the Sperrins.