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Noah's Ark Nursery, Forres invests £5000 in bicycles and outdoor play area

By Garry McCartney

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Childcare practitioners Laurie Speed, Lesley Findlay and Lorraine King with some of the Noah's Ark angels.
Childcare practitioners Laurie Speed, Lesley Findlay and Lorraine King with some of the Noah's Ark angels.

CHILDREN at a Balnageith nursery are thrilled with new bikes put together for free by a High Street business.

Noah’s Ark invested part of £5000 from Moray Council in 16 bicycles, which Bike Bothy picked up, fitted and returned the next day.

Nursery manager Angie Mackay confirmed eight are balance bikes while the others have stabilizers, and safety helmets were also purchased.

She said: “At the end of the first lockdown we applied for a grant to enhance our outdoor space.

We listened to many of the children tell us that they had learned to ride “big bikes” during lockdown, so we felt our three-wheeled trikes were too small for some of them.

“Bike Bothy kindly put the new bikes together for us. They were amazing and refused any payment. They picked them up and dropped them off the next day, all in working order. The children made a card to thank them.”

Noah’s Ark has been caring for children in Forres since 1976, moving to its purpose-built building gifted by developer Sandy Adam in 2004, and extending its services into mainstream day care.

Noah’s Ark Developmental Playgroup is a small charity that has been in the local community for decades. It was originally established by Dr Isobel Scott to provide a service for children with additional needs. Noah’s Ark continues to house an inclusive developmental group of children referred by professional partner agencies. This service is primarily for children aged zero to three.

To promote outdoor play, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, Noah’s Ark removed parking at the front of the building, creating a large outdoor space with road signage and a mini-roundabout so the children could have fun on their bikes.

Angie said: “We feel extremely blessed that these new resources enhance and promote outdoor play.

“We bought a lovely shed from Mike Noble to house the new bikes, and Mathew from Moray Mud Kitchen’s built us a wonderful new play kitchen and workbench. We also got some rope swings to hang onto trees when we are out in the woods.”

She added: “The pandemic has seen some very strange times during lockdown, especially as we have just been caring for key workers’ children only. We can’t wait to welcome all of the children back so they can get back to what they do best: playing!

“We cannot forget to say a big thank you to our board of directors who have continued to support the group throughout the pandemic. Their IT skills have certainly improved and they are now masters of Zoom meetings!”

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