Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Pupils take on TV challenge

Harding Memorial pupils need your votes

Harding Memorial Primary School is hoping its centenary celebrations will be given a cash boost when it competes to win a share of the 'People's Millions' in a live TV show airing at the end of the month.

The school will be pitted against Harberton School's Taughmona Tree Trail project in south Belfast, as both groups compete to win the most public votes and up to £50k of Lottery Funding.

The Harding Children Deserve This project, if successful, will celebrate the school's centenary by creating a new outdoor play and learning environment.

The new facility will be used as an outdoor classroom and an interactive playground, both by pupils and members of local community groups. The facility will include an adventure trail, a creative zone and eco zone, and sports pitch.

The current play area is dated, covered with tarmac and with limited access to outdoor facilities.

Chair of the school's PTA Claire Higgs has one child in P1 and another who has just left the school. She told the Community Telegraph the funding is "essential".

"The playground has been the same since the school was built 100 years ago and all our local parks have gone, so the school is hoping that this play area will be open after school for children to come and play safely," she explained.

"We have Rainbows, Brownies and Guides who meet in the school and we also have cheerleaders, they'll have full use of the playground as well. We also have strong connections with Cregagh Methodist and Flutterbies, their playgroup. Part of their criteria is to experience things outdoors and they don't have access to anything, so it would benefit them too. We have everything crossed as the project requires a huge amount of money and we're only a small school – there's no way we could fund it ourselves."

Six Northern Irish projects have been chosen to go head-to-head in the People's Millions – a partnership between Big Lottery Fund and ITV, which has awarded £27.8m to community projects over the last seven years.

Representatives from the groups will put their case for the public's vote to win the funding, with the winners decided by phone vote.

One award will be made each night for three nights – November 25-27 – with a bonus award on November 28 for the runner up who receives the most votes.

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