The Joshua Tree, a Cheshire based Children’s Cancer Charity dedicated to working closely with families affected by childhood cancers, first contacted Sutcliffe Play in 2017 with the desire to build a playground alongside a brand-new state-of-the-art support centre.
The design for the Support Centre play area was required to provide friendly play for children recovering from cancer and their siblings when attending the centre, allowing both therapeutic developmental play and general play. It was important that there was a range of equipment for different ages and abilities to ensure inclusivity, as well as space to allow the children to join in with outside group games and activities.
The project was completed three years later, after the fundraising and building of the support centre had been completed. Sutcliffe Play worked alongside a project team at The Joshua Tree, revising the plans over the three year period to ensure the clients exact needs & requirements were met.
With therapeutic play being one of the many support services offered at The Joshua Tree, the play area has created a vital resource in aiding the physical and mental wellbeing of children and their families during an incredibly traumatic time.
The final play area is an immersive environment with stimulating sensory activities at every turn, engaging children in the environment around them.
Encouraging social play, a large trampoline sits among the bound rubber mulch floor which can accommodate two children bouncing in unison – perfect for physical play and developing coordination.
A sensory flower and music pipes offer sound and optical dimensions to the play area, with the brightly coloured flower incorporating a spiral design which creates an optical illusion as it rotates. Adding a breadth of challenge to the play area, a jungle bridge and inclined balance walk from the Sutcliffe Play Trim Trail range were incorporated into the design, offering testing balancing and traversing activities while appealing to children’s sense of adventure and imaginative play.
Benches, white boards, toadstool stepping logs and a play stage complete the outdoor area, creating a bright and fun atmosphere which can be enjoyed by the whole family.
“We wanted to create an exciting, safe and accessible play area for children of all ages and abilities – a requirement which has undoubtedly been met. Sutcliffe Play understood our requirements perfectly and in doing so, created a fun and immersive environment away from the outside world which will benefit children and their families for many years to come.”
Rachael Birdsey– Family Support Manager – The Joshua Tree