Singleton Hospital wanted to rejuvenate the existing play area they had, which was looking tired and worn, and include a paved area which was not being used. The work formed part of a wider development plan to upgrade Ward 15 at Singleton Hospital, Swansea into a Children’s Development Centre.
The design of the play area for the Children’s Development Centre was required to provide friendly play for children with disabilities and their siblings when attending the Centre, allowing both therapeutic developmental play and general play.
Sutcliffe Play worked alongside a project team at Singleton Hospital to design a play area to requirements set by the hospital and fundraisers. The City & County of Swansea also contributed information on key considerations for new play areas which were integrated into the design.
The final play area includes a sensory garden, which provides an immersive environment where children can see, touch, smell and hear the physical environment around them. Coloured wet pour with inlayed designs, synthetic grass and graphics have been used to further stimulate the senses.
At the centre of the play area, the Inclusive Playzone Scramble & Slide Unit allows children of all abilities to play side-by-side. The unit features a drag ramp, scramble net and a 1.2m high slide with a ‘U’ shape chute for children to slide securely down. The one-sided open section at the bottom allows helpers to give support during play.
Additional inclusive play equipment includes a nest swing, parrot springie and inclusive roundabout.
The Inclusive Roundabout has been designed to ensure disabled and able bodied children can enjoy the sensation of spinning, all together, at the same time. The roundabout includes anti-slip floor surfacing and has a designated wheelchair space with rubber backstops and inclusive seating. Sitting flush to the ground ensures there are no trip points or potential traps for users. A contrasting coloured handrail makes it easier for partially sighted users to hold on tight. The Inclusive Roundabout is speed restricted so that it will only rotate gently.
“We wanted to create an exciting and accessible play area for children of all ages and abilities – a requirement which has undoubtedly been met. Since the installation of the play area, Singleton Hospital has won Building Better hospitals – Best Collaborative Arts Project award, recognising the transformation of the Children’s Development Centre which includes the external play area as key benefit.” Danny Flynn, Project Manager