Cloverhill’s new outdoor space ‘a dream come true’

Minister for Education Norma Foley officially opened a new recreational, sensory and biodiversity space at Cloverhill National School during her visit to the county on Thursday last.

Funding for the new space was provided by Roscommon LEADER Partnership with match funding generated by the local school community.

Speaking to the Roscommon People this week, Principal Catherine Mullarkey said staff and students were thrilled to welcome the Minister to Rockfield.

“There was great excitement here all week and the students were delighted to welcome Minister Foley to open our new facilities. We are also very grateful to Roscommon LEADER Partnership for their support. It was our dream to have a clean and safe environment for our students and the local community,” Ms Mullarkey said.

“Children need space to learn in classrooms as well as outside where they can socialise and play the games they love”.

The Cloverhill NS Principal says students are already making great use of the all-weather pitch, soft play area and sensory garden, and there are further plans to add to the space this year.

“Our younger students love the soft play area while the sensory garden is so important for students with additional needs,” she said.

“We will be working with our creative schools artist to create things for the space and we will also be planting in the biodiversity garden in the spring. The children will be part of all that.

“Again, we’d like to thank LEADER because this makes such a difference for our school and the surrounding community. This space was just a big field before which was wet for six months of the year so we were confined to a small yard space. It’s a dream come true to have this space that the children can use all year round”.

Speaking at the school on Thursday last, CEO of Roscommon LEADER Partnership, Martina Earley said: “LEADER has funded the work for €70,700 and the community raised match finance of €25,000. We funded it because it’s open to the whole community. It’s a recreational, sensory and biodiversity garden, and the community hopes it will be a place for families of all communities to come and get to know one another,” she said.

“It’s about building a sense of place in an inclusive way. This project sums up everything the LEADER programme is about: bottom-up community development. We are very happy to have supported it and the community were great to work with”.