A MUCH-loved playground group attended by dozens of children on an Oxford estate has been given thousands of pounds by the National Lottery.

The Blackbird Leys Adventure Playground will use the £8,855 grant for a project to 'celebrate the diversity' of the children who attend its after-school and holiday activities.

Secretary Sue Price explains that staff wanted to run the project to share the vast array of different cultures of students and their families.

It will feature parents coming in to teach the pupils, aged 8-13, how to cook traditional dishes as well as activities such as dance workshops and language classes.

Ms Price said: "We've got parents coming in to share recipes and stories from which ever country they are from.

"It could be that they were born down the road in Blackbird Leys or the other side of the world, they will still have lots to share and teach our kids.

"Hopefully the children will learn a few words of lots of different languages and a bit about the culture of many places around the world."

Children who attend the afternoon sessions at BLAP come from dozens of countries including Poland, Romania, Lithuania, the Caribbean, Nigeria, Rwanda and Syria.

The low-cost after-school clubs and playschemes offered regularly by the group are often seen as a lifeline for many parents on the estate.

The idea for the project came as staff planned what new activities they wanted to introduce this year.

Ms Price said: "We were prompted to do the project by many different things.

"We wanted to show how great it is to live on the estate and for it to be so diverse and how much we can learn from each other.

"The children all play together without a care, they take each other as they come and we do not want that to change as they get older.

"When we discussed with staff about what we'd like to do that is different and new, we all agreed this would be quite exciting."

Activities begin during this week and will continue throughout the year.

A programme of events will also take place this summer to coincide with the world cup kicking off in Russia with the children exploring the cultures of the countries taking part.

The money is coming from the Big Lottery Fund's Awards for All programme which offers between £300 and £10,000 to community groups to run events and small projects.

This is the first time BLAP has been given Lottery funding and Ms Price is hoping it may lead on to bigger things in the future.

The playground is also urgently looking for people to volunteer and work with the children for one day a week.