The Gruffalo calls at Carrickfergus Central Primary School

The Gruffalo greets children at Carrickfergus Central Primary School. INCT 17-705-CON
The Gruffalo greets children at Carrickfergus Central Primary School. INCT 17-705-CON

Carrickfergus Central Primary School primary one and two pupils have welcomed one of their favourite Julia Donaldson storybook characters.

The Gruffalo visited the school after Julie-Ann Ashe, secretary of the Parent Teacher Association, won the prize as part of a competition run by The Big Lunch in Northern Ireland. 

The Big Lunch annual day for neighbours is an Eden Project idea funded by Big Lottery and this year it is on Sunday, June 12.

Julie-Ann said: “I was thrilled to win a visit from The Gruffalo for the children.  He surprised them on Tuesday morning, after they listened to the story.” 

At Central Primary Big Lunch plans are under way.

Julie-Ann continued: “We are holding our Big Lunch on Wednesday 1 June and it will coincide with Volunteers’ Week, which is an annual national campaign to celebrate volunteering and the positive impact volunteers make. “The children from the school would like to invite their neighbours from Thomas Street and Unity Street, and anyone else from the town, to their Big Lunch.  They will be delivering invites to their neighbours in the coming weeks.”

Nicole Railton, who is on a placement at the school, commented: “I’m really enjoying my time at Central Primary School.

“The community atmosphere in the school is great, there is such a great buzz about the school. There is so much going on and the children love it. 

“They were so surprised by The Gruffalo and can’t wait to have their Big Lunch.”

Grainne McCloskey, Northern Ireland manager of the Big Lunch, said: “It was a real pleasure to bring the Gruffalo to Carrick, courtesy of Magic Light pictures. And it is great to know that the school will be hosting its own lunch for the first time this year. This is a great opportunity for people of all ages in the neighbourhood to get together in fun and friendship.”

Last year saw hundreds of Big Lunch events across Northern Ireland with a number in east Antrim. Anyone can organise one, all you need to do to get started is to visit and order your free starter pack.