“We Want To Play Too!” Campaign
The campaign was a study and proposal of disability-friendly and accessible park playgrounds in Hammersmith and Fulham parent carer forum called Parents Active. The survey of their parents’ needs led to partnership working with various agencies that resulted in two major subsequent developments which have since been recognised as good practice in SEN provision.
Their survey of the facilities and the needs of their families resulted in 2 objectives for their campaign:
- Improved facilities in parks in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
- A purpose-built disabled short breaks centre
Parents Active carried out a survey in May 2013 to gather information on play and parks. The main purpose of this survey was to follow up on our report in 2011 “We want to Play too” which highlighted parental expectations of what Play and Parks mean to their disabled child. The report was widely distributed to key professionals and also made its way to the London Mayor’s office. The purpose of this survey and the report is to judge the progress made since then, to find out if respite is really adequate, what are the parental expectations of the proposed disabled children’s centre and whether they continue to enjoy the facilities in parks.
Hayley Wedgbury (and her daughter Mia), is a member of the parent carer forum in Hammersmith and Fulham. Her desire to find a suitable play area for Mia was the driving force behind the campaign. They raised funds from various sources and funded the installation of various disability-friendly play equipment in several parks in Hammersmith and Fulham, including the Ravenscourt Park playground.
To find out more about the details of their report and what they achieved, please visit the ParentsActive website: ParentsActive.
THE HARROW STORY
Having been inspired by what they achieved in Hammersmith and Fulham, the members from the parent carer forum, (Harrow Parent Forum) and Special Needs Community CIC conducted their own study and consultation. We launched our local project in July 2017, with the help of our local councilor.
They asked parents and carers what services they would like to see in the borough.
These are the key points arising from the consultation. The replies included the following:
- “A specialist centre where children can have fun and parents can hang out”
- “More stimulating outdoor activities”
- “Fun activities for siblings”
- “There is simply nowhere for us to go as a family in the whole of Harrow”
- “A specialist playground and café would be LIFE CHANGING!”
We found a local park with a normal playground in it, and found more space to our specialist inclusive equipment which was going to be designed to include all abilities. We worked with specialist playground designers for a vision to inclusion on its head, instead of separated places for specialist equipment, all the equipment could be used by any child or young person with varying mobility issues or no mobility issues at all. We wanted disabled and non-disabled children to play next to each other for free. One of the pieces of equipment that allows this to happen is the 4-swing set which includes a wheelchair swing, a basket swing, a molded seat, and a normal seat.
The Cedars Inclusive & All-Ability Adventure Playground Project
- Cycle track
- Zebra Crossing & Roundabout sign
- Train Ticket Office
- Petrol Pump Play station
- Tunnel Train & Three Carriages
- Self Propelled- Ability Roundabout
- Wheelchair Accessible picnic tables
- Wobbly Mirror Panels
- Set of Congas -drums
- Set of Emperors-wind chimes
- Cajons (reflective objects/seats)
- Ability Trampoline
- All ability Swing set (wheelchair swing, flat seat, support seat, birds nest swing)
READ THE UPDATES ON THE HARROW PROJECT SO FAR HERE