This project will transform the Gardens of Birtenshaw Hall, Bolton into an innovative, accessible play environment available to identified and similar organisations throughout the borough. The focus of this project is to bring together children who suffer from physical and communication disabilities and their families, providing them with fun, interactive, new play experiences that cater for individuals with profound disabilities.
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In a town with a overall population of 262,400. 63,000 are aged 0-19. (Copright Census 2001, Standard Table ST016, Crown Copyright". ) Currently there are 450 disabled children registered on the disability database in Bolton (this is voluntary thier may be more). It is deplorable that there are no play areas for disabled children within Bolton. Every child and young person deserves the right to play. There is no reasons why these individuals should be excluded from play because of there disabilities. Clearly from this evidence there is a huge demand for a fantastic play area that allows children with special needs to have fun and learn. An area where parents, guardians and carers of these children can meet informally to discuss the daily challenges one faces when raising a child with special needs. It will have a mix of innovative and traditional play equipment which has been purposely adapted to allow physically disabled individuals to play, breaking down the barriers to participation that disbled young people face when accessing play time. Creating an accessible, inclusive, interactive series of stimulating outdoor spaces that would compliment the ethos of our organisation Being an organisation that has provided services for children and young people with special needs for over 50 years, we have a sound knowledge of what is needed. We are fortunate to have a large area to redevelop to meet this need. It will be a safe environment that will be managed and maintained. It will be accessible to organisations that we have already identified through research that we are conducting and to similar organisations who would benefit from using our services. The organisations that have already expressed a need include Bolton Council, Bolton Play Services, Children‚Äôs Opportunity Group, Kool Kidz Out of School Club, Kids Connect Inclusion Project, MOJO Community Arts, Bridges, Daytrippers, Firwood School, Greenfold School, Ladywood School, Lever Park School, Rumworth School, Thomason Memorial School and George Tomlinson School. The concept is being modelled upon the Playscape project which was sponsored by Play England and designed by Groundwork. 'Playscape illustrates how grassy slopes, woodlands, rock pools, sand and water can be complemented by modern commercial play equipment to form exciting and challenging places to play. We aim to promote an approach to play area design that offers children the opportunities to engage with their natural surroundings, explore their imaginary worlds, and take acceptable levels of risk Playscape creates a stimulating and multi-sensory place for all young people ‚Äì a space where they can come together and be challenged and inspired. Bromley Cross football club who are situated next door to us have agreed to let us have the perimeter of their fields as a extra wide cycle track for the users of our garden.
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