All children who visit a Doncaster park this summer are set to benefit from new, inclusive play equipment, thanks to fundraising by volunteers.
A successful campaign by the Friends of Sandall Park, supported by Doncaster Council, means that Sandall Park should soon sport a brand new wheelchair roundabout, suitable for both able-bodied children and those with disabilities, to add to current play facilities.
To this end, their campaign ‘I Can Play Too’ was launched by the Friends’ Group, in a bid to make play in the park fully inclusive for all youngsters.
A nest swing was added to facilities last year, after a local family highlighted the need for a wider range of play equipment.
Six-year old park user Ethan Germain often visits with his family. He has cerebral palsy and prior to the arrival of the nest swing, had to watch his sister and her pals playing, but was unable to join in. Now, Nathan can enjoy time in the swing himself.
Chair of the Friends of Sandall Park, Sandra Crabtree, said: “Few play parks are all inclusive and we are trying to redress the balance.
“This park is visited by many children with disabilities and special needs, and we want them to have as good a time as anyone while they are here. We cater well for people and children with special needs and want that to apply to all facilities.”
To help their campaign, Doncaster Council set up a fundraising platform with Spacehive, helping to access potential major funders.
“We joined about eight weeks ago and are now looking at having enough funding to go ahead,” explained Sandra. “In total we need £14,600. Play meterials don’t come cheap and we need excellent, robust equipment.
“It’s been wonderful in that the whole community has got behind us. Social media played a large part too and whether people have donated two pounds, five pounds or a hundred pounds, we are very grateful.”
Once the campaign cash is amassed in full, the wheelchair roundabout project will go out to tender, and hopefully work will follow soon after, to get the roundabout in place and working as soon as possible, added Sandra.
“But we won’t stop there. There’s another climbing and ropes area we want to expand, and we’ll keep on working to make the park the best it can be for everyone.”