Belfast Telegraph

The playgroup so famous nobody knows its name

by Natalie Irvine

Does the name Bloomfield Community Association ring a bell with you?

Surprising a busy workforce involved in the many children’s projects at their Bloomfield centre on Hyndford Street, the results of an east Belfast community survey says the answer is no — despite the organisation being 30 years in the business of serving the Ballyhackamore community.

Karen Purdy, centre co-ordinator for Bloomfield Community Association explained their dilemma : “Harrier’s Hall, Helen’s playgroup, Sooty’s disco, ‘sure it’s that wee place around the corner’, are just some of the names people around here call our organisation, all taken from some of the activities we do.

“It appears people are still in the dark as to the name we go by. It’s probably because we have been around for so long everybody around here has their own wee name for us!

“We never thought much about it — it was only when we were approached by those who had carried out a local community survey who revealed to us their results and highlighted that our services were not recognised in the community. We knew then that we had to take action.

“The centre where we are based and the activities we provide have been here for 30 years now — our playgroup and play care facilities are always full and so when I heard no one answered the question ‘have you used services at Bloomfield Community Association’, I must admit, at first, I was absolutely gutted. On an impulse I said to myself ‘what have we got to do for people around here to value the work of the centre?’ But I was comforted when the people who carried out the survey told me no one answered the question because no one knew our correct name.

“So in the lead up to Christmas we could think of no better way than getting our name out and about than putting on a Christmas indoor car-boot sale for the community. We are inviting everyone in the local neighbourhood to attend and take part — there will lots on offer, music, coffee, biscuits, santa, and we will have our name and logo firmly on display!”

Entry is free to the sale, and to book a table to sell your wares is £5. Donations towards the running of the centre will also be welcome at the event. The sale is to take place on Saturday December 11 from 9am until 2pm.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph