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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup set to enjoy new outdoor space after winning with Dobbies!

L-R: Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup members with Bernadette Barnes, Horti Manager at Dobbies' Antrim store, and Janeen Adams of Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup. (Image: Phil Smyth)


Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre, has revealed the community and charity groups across the UK that will receive support to help transform, restore or start their indoor or outdoor green spaces this year, including Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup in Ballymena and Molly and Mia Community Group in Lisburn.

Over 660 groups applied to Dobbies Community Gardens when it opened in March. Each Dobbies store selected their local project to support from the nominations that were made.



Nominated projects from County Antrim and Lisburn were invited along to the in-store Grow How sessions on Saturday 4 May when the winners were unveiled.

Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup and Molly and Mia Community Group will now receive a one-on-one session with Dobbies’ colleagues in the Antrim and Lisburn stores to kick-start the activity, and the team will support the winning group right the way through their project. In addition to receiving products, tools and plants, there will be volunteer hours allocated to help bring the project to fruition and keep their outdoor space blooming.




Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup plan to use Dobbies' support and funding to develop an outdoor area for pupils to enjoy and socialise with one another.


Reducing social isolation and improving mental health among pupils with no access to an outdoor space is important to the school, and they hope the creation of an outdoor space with help children develop skills and aid in education.

Molly and Mia Community Group support families who have had stillborn and miscarriages or have lost children, and plant to use Dobbies' support to develop their memory garden and create a place for families to come together and support one another.



Recent research* from Dobbies by Censuswide found that 71% of Brits say being close to nature helps them relax, highlighting the importance of initiatives like Dobbies Community Gardens to help green spaces thrive.

Dobbies’ colleagues are passionate about gardens and plants, championing garden living all year round to create experiences that bring people and communities together.

Nick Anderson, Dobbies’ Operations Director, is thrilled with the response to Dobbies Community Gardens. He explained:


“We are really pleased to have had so many community groups get in touch looking for support with their green spaces.



“The Antrim and Lisburn stores had the responsibility of picking a community group to back this year, choosing Kirkinriola Early Years Playgroup and Molly and Mia Community Group as its winners. We’re looking forward to seeing these outdoor green spaces flourish over the year.”

For more information about Dobbies work in the community and to see this year’s Dobbies Community Gardens’ winners, visit dobbies.com/community-gardens

*The research was conducted by Censuswide with 2007 natrep consumers in UK 16+ between 22 March-25 March 2024. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society, which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council.


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