Business run by local mums celebrates 20th birthday (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Business run by local mums celebrates 20th birthday in Walthamstow
A business set up by three local mums running music-making sessions with under-5s is still going strong 20 years after it was set up.
Originally called Music Makers, the group was set up by three mums who were also musicians.
Renamed Bongalong in 2005, the group is still run by a local mum, Fiona Lundie-Smith.
Mrs Lundie-Smith, 47, leads sessions with over 200 children every week at St Gabriel's Family Centre in Havant Road, Walthamstow, doing activities like singing, dancing and playing percussion.
Mrs Lundie-Smith discovered the group as a mum with young daughters herself 12 years ago, and has now been running the business for four years.
“I used to bring my girls along and would often find myself thinking ‘I’d love to do this’. Little did I know, one day I’d be leading the sessions. And I was right, I do love it!”
Bongalong is now preparing to celebrate its 20th birthday by asking anyone who has visited over the years to get in touch with any photos they have of old sessions.
Mrs Lundie-Smith said: “It would be great to hear other families’ memories – some of our ‘graduates’ must be in their mid-20s by now.”
Mrs Lundie-Smith puts the long-term success of the grass-roots business down to how much fun it is.
She said: “It’s tried and tested and really works and it’s still exciting for small children. It’s creatively fantastic and it’s huge fun.”
Families who have attended Bongalong and Music Makers over the years are invited to visit www.facebook.com/bongalongmusic
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