Children in Folkestone have seen their own ideas come to life with the installation of a new play area specially designed to encourage inclusive play.
Pupils from Brook Education Centre, Mundella Primary School, Stella Maris Primary School and Folkestone Academy were heavily involved with the development of the new play area in Lower Radnor Park in Folkestone, Kent, which was installed by play equipment manufacturer Sutcliffe Play.
The new equipment was funded by grants obtained by Shepway District Council including the Big Lottery, the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and Local Ward Councillor Grants.
The project was one of four Big Lottery funded schemes currently being implemented by the Shepway District Council to facilitate inclusive play, known collectively as the Fairplay project. The project involves the redesign of four play areas, strategically placed in wards with the highest numbers of children and young people with disabilities. It seeks to maximise the range of play opportunities for children with disabilities and encourage children of all abilities to play together.
“The children saw the project through from start to finish, which gave them great satisfaction,” says Tamasin Jarrett, Youth & Play Development Officer for Shepway District Council. “One main aim of the project was to instil a sense of community pride, and I certainly believe that this has been realised.”
“We’re delighted the children were so enthusiastic about helping to design the playground,” adds Andrew Lane, Operations Director at Sutcliffe Play. “The result is that it has been tailored to the desires of the children who will be using it. Their involvement has given them ‘ownership’ of the playground which we hope will encourage them to enjoy it for many years to come.”
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