Plan for play area for disabled children in Bourne gets backing from parents

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A GROUP campaigning for play equipment for disabled children is moving ahead with its plans after getting good support.

Dare to Be Different, a social support group for parent carers, had 120 responses to a survey it issued about play equipment in Bourne.

The group says the large majority were in favour of improving the play facilities on offer for young people with physical and learning difficulties. It is now hoping to work with South Kesteven District Council to improve facilities.

Group member Laura Tilley, of West Street, Bourne, said: “We feel it is very important our children get the same play opportunities as those without disabilities, so they can play alongside their siblings and not create a social barrier.

“Our vision is to create a play space where children of all abilities can come together in an inviting and interesting space because visits to a play park should be part of everybody’s childhood memories.”

The survey was launched in May and Laura was delighted with the responses.

She said: “They were all saying the same thing, that the play facilities in Bourne are really quite poor and they have to travel a long way to find anything better.

“It was fantastic that so many people have answered the survey. We have now got a case to say people want this.”

The council is already planning to upgrade play equipment at the Recreation Ground with money from developers building in Manning Road and Willoughby Road.

A total of £32,980 will be available. The council has already received £18,990 and will receive the rest of the cash as the Manning Road development progresses.

Dare to be Different hopes to work with the council and include its ideas so the playarea would be suitable for able-bodied and disabled children.

Ideas include making alterations to traditional pieces of play equipment such as putting a back on swings to offer more support; making walkways with ramps wide enough for wheelchairs and making a roundabout with a secure seated area.

Laura said: “We gave the developers Wicksteed Playscapes, a wish list of the dream park that we would like for The Recreation Ground in Bourne. They have been really supportive and now we are waiting on final quotes to come back.”

The cost of the “wish list” park is expected to be about £70,000. Once the costings are completed the group will approach the district council again.

It would then hope to apply for grants and raise funds.

Dare to be Different is holding a bring your own picnic play session on Wednesday, for children with disabilities at Bourne Youth Centre,in Queens Road, between 11am and 1pm.