IT IS OFFICIALLY playtime for a group of youngsters after a £1,100 cash boost.

West Barns Playgroup has been looking to purchase equipment to help local families and their children, particularly those who might not have access to suitable outdoor clothing, have fun.

Now, a four-figure grant has been given to the group, which was reformed last year.

Kevin Moore, treasurer of the playgroup, was delighted with the cash boost, which came from Community Windpower and BeGreen Dunbar’s Covid-19 crisis fund.

He said: “We only really started in November and obviously things have been restricted.

“We started off a committee with just people who had moved into the area of West Barns and Belhaven.”

The money will allow the purchase of equipment, along with secure outdoor storage, which will enable the group to have a bigger variety of equipment for children, as storage space is currently limited at the West Barns Village Hall, where they meet.

To mark the group being formed, committee members and others ran, walked or cycled 200 miles, raising £400 in sponsorship, paying for insurance and Early Years Scotland membership to get the group started.

As restrictions are eased, it is hoped youngsters will be able to get into the village hall.

The new equipment and storage units will offer various aspects of indoor and outdoor play to local families.

Purchasing outdoor clothing will enable the children of families who might not be in a financial position to buy suitable clothing to play outside whatever the weather.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, which operates the Aikengall Community Windfarms in the nearby Lammermuir Hills, stressed that playing was something family and friends had missed out on during coronavirus restrictions.

She said: “When the restrictions are lifted, it’s important that all children and their families have access to a wide range of equipment and clothing to help them enjoy the great outdoors again.

“This is why we didn’t hesitate when West Barns Playgroup explained what they were planning to do with the funding.

“Our £255,000 Covid-19 crisis fund is designed to help organisations ensure they can support local families.”

For more information on the funding, call 01368 863720 or email begreen@communitywindpower.co.uk