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Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, Staffordshire

Client: The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice

Cost: £150,000

Date: 01/11/2014

Genre: Inclusive

Creating memories at The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice

Sutcliffe Play worked with The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Stoke-on-Trent to design and install a new £150,000 inclusive playground which was made possible through the generously donated £150,000 raised from individuals and companies throughout Staffordshire and Cheshire.

The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice Trust provides a range of specialist care and support services for children with a shortened life expectancy and their families.  They Trust provides care for around 180 children between the ages of 0 -19 years from Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Mike McDonald, Chief Executive at The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice said, “One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is the ability for them to play with their siblings so today was a fantastic opportunity to thank everyone who has enabled us to create such a fantastic playground”.

Indoor and outdoor play forms an important part of our work with life threatened children as play has a fundamental impact on children’s growth and development and allows them to explore, discover and make sense of their environment.

For Amanda Harrison her dream of seeing her three children being able to play together without a wheelchair or disability being an obstacle to having fun has finally come true.

Amanda says “I’m completely blown away by the playground just because James is in a wheelchair shouldn’t stop him having fun and I well up just seeing them being able to play together forming that special sibling bond, it’s priceless.”

Kevin Sellwood from Sutcliffe Play says “It’s been a fantastic and rewarding experience working with The Donna Louise Children’s Trust on the new playground. The team here really are dedicated to providing the best possible memories for children and their families.  Play forms a big part of that and it has been a pleasure to design a truly inclusive playground that we’re sure will have a positive impact on everyone here.

“The playground equipment we’ve installed means that children of all abilities can play side-by-side without boundaries. The basket swing is designed to take several young children and is designed like bird’s nest. We’ve also installed a new inclusive roundabout that means children in wheelchairs can wheel themselves into the roundabout and enjoy the sensation of spinning, all together, at the same time.

“The feedback from children and families has already been amazing and we can’t wait to hear more!”

Playground Equipment:

Playzone inclusive multi-play system: The range was developed following extensive research with Leeds Metropolitan University, which is home to one of the country’s most respected centres for research into child development and play patterns. We were also involved in extensive research with both children and play area specifiers.  The best thing about Playzone is that being modular, it enables you to design your own special units to suit differing needs, locations, abilities and budgets. Playzone is extremely robust and suitable for the most demanding locations.

Wheelchair Roundabout: This roundabout is accessible for children in wheelchairs and enables the riders to experience exciting new kinds of motion.

Trampoline: Fantastic fun, trampolines are perfect for physical play and developing coordination. With their own inbuilt rubber edging, they can be installed anywhere, even in concrete, and no other safety surfacing is required.

Ability Swing: This swing enables a child to enjoy the experience of a swing whilst still in their wheelchair.

Inclusive Basket Swing: Designed to hold several young children and those with special needs, this nest swing encourages teamwork in play.

Mound Tunnel: Tunnels give an extra dimension to a natural play space. The darkness as you enter and the light at the end as you emerge into another world is irresistible to children of all ages.

Special Waterplay Unit: this extensive piece of water play equipment unit has multiple streams and allows children to experiment with flows and pools of water, enabling sensory play.

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