Next Monday – February 17th – sees the official re-opening of the first city park playground to be equipped specifically to allow children of all abilities to play together in one play area.
It’s at Alexandra Park and the opening ceremony will be carried out by Cllr Paul Crossley who is cabinet member for community services.
Jane Robson – who is Parks Manager for B&NES – has told councillors:
‘The upgrade introduces three new pieces of accessible play kit that can be used by ALL children of varying abilities to complement the existing play provision, as follows: –
- NEW – An amazingly fast traditional roundabout, 2.4m diameter, with free-standing space plus two wheelchair stations and a seat for toddlers. The ‘Ability Whirl’ is fitted flush to the ground for easy access of wheelchairs and pushchairs and – once everyone is on board – it can go really fast because there is no governor fitted, unlike other ability roundabouts that limit the fun by going too slowly.
- NEW – A flush-fitted in-ground trampoline that can be used by all, including wheelchair users. The edges are bevelled to allow wheels to roll on and off, yet the springy non-slip surface is strong enough to take the weight of several children at once – the more children, the more bounce!
- NEW – A set of four swings that comprises a basket swing, a parent and baby swing, a flat swing and a wheelchair swing, complete with harnesses for securing a wheelchair actually onto the swing. This swing was included in the swing set so that children in wheelchairs can feel directly included in the play experience. Entry to the ability swing enclosure is by Radar key to limit entry to only wheelchair users.’
Funding for the play kit was from capital funding and the works cost just under £47,000.