To develop a play area at the Zoological Park where disabled children and their peers are able to play together. The play area will include - Sensory musical trail; Balance weaver; Rubber step posts; Net climber; Zig zag balance beam; Rock and roll log; Step up bars; Step up tower; Wheel chair roundabout.
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Blackbrook Zoological Park opened in 1991 and became a registered charity in June 2008. The existing play facilities at the park have been in existence since 1991 and consist of a swing, slide and roundabout. These facilities no longer meet the varying needs of the visitors to the park. They are only suitable for the 5-8 age range and so not accommodate disabled or young children. Verbal feedback from visitors has highlighted this issue, and such requests for more suitable play equipment for younger and disabled children have increased over the last year. The park received approximately 37,000 visitors last year of which 60%/22,000 were children, and of these approximately 15%/3,330 were children with disabilities or special needs. Whilst it is impossible to provide equipment for all forms of impairment we aim to provide an area where children of different abilities can meet and play safely together, which enhances social and physical development, and provides an equality of experience for all children. The Raising Children Network state that interaction for children with disabilities and special needs can minimise the problems children suffer later in life and in particular behavioural problems. Also The Good Childhood Enquiry (2007) commissioned by The Childrens Society, and the first independent inquiry into childhood, evidences that play is critical to friendship development for children and young people and particularly space and opportunity to play which forges emotional, social and personal development. The total cost of the items outlined is ¬£47,882 towards which we have secured ¬£800 via grant funding. We are in need of raising the additional ¬£47,082 to undertake this project in full.
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