Life-changing playground underway
A GoFundMe campaign has raised over a quarter of a million euro for the construction of a playground accessible to children with disabilities in county Cork.
The fully accessible playground and leisure area is being built by the Crann Centre in Ovens, a charity that provides lifelong support for families living with neuro-physical disabilities.
Construction of the ¼ acre facility commenced in July and has progressed well since, with the charity well on its way to reaching its €500,000 goal.
Approximately 140,000 children in Ireland live with a disability and face barriers when using playgrounds and community leisure spaces and the Crann Centre wants to change that.
A spokesperson for the charity wrote: “Through our work with children and adults with a disability and their families, we identified that children are missing out on the benefits of physical outdoor play with their siblings and other children.
“This impacts their emotional and physical wellbeing, inhibits their physical health, and reduces their mobility.”
In summer 2020, Crann conducted research with its members under the guidance of play researcher Alice Moore and colleagues from the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UCC.
Through this research, parents expressed the impact of not playing together as a family and how being excluded from risky, unstructured and social play has impacted their child’s wellbeing and development.
The results of the research were then incorporated into the facility’s design with accessibility and full-family play at the forefront.
The playground and leisure area will feature ample accessible parking, outdoor exercise machines, accessible toilets, and relaxation and dining areas.
There are also plans for a horticultural therapy area, pizza oven and barbeque where children and adults can learn new skills and socialise.
According to Crann, people with a disability often engage in less physical activity than recommended, making accessible spaces in which to be active vitally important.
As well as being a place where Crann's clients and their families can spend valuable time together, the centre will use the facility to deliver a wide range of programmes, such as adaptive movement programmes developed by its partners at Indiana University, to ensure the best therapies with maximum fun.
As of going to print, the Crann's Accessible Playground GoFundMe campaign had raised the impressive sum of €229,375.
Crann is a charity that creates personalised solutions for people living with neuro-physical disabilities such as spina bifida, hydrocephalus, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, childhood stroke and spinal cord injury.
The service offers cutting-edge innovation at its purpose-built and fully accessible centre, in-person and online.
To donate to the campaign, visit gofundme.com and search for ‘Crann's Accessible Playground’. For more information on Crann, visit cranncentre.ie.