The team at East Coast Mobility were delighted to hear that the Mayor of Lowestoft Stephen Ardley has officially opened the new “disability roundabout” at Nicholas Everitt Park with representatives from Sentinel Leisure Trust and members of the community.
The idea was first put forward by Waveney Sportsability chairman Rachel Bayliss, 44, whose grand-daughter, Katie Barnard, three, regularly visits the park but was unable to use the play equipment due to a disability.
Ms Bayliss said: “This development will give Katie, and children like Katie, the opportunity to experience the same fun as other children growing up – which up until now she has not been able to enjoy.
“It is so lovely to see the smile on her face and moving forward we have plans to provide further equipment.
“Children, like Katie, have the right to play and thanks to equipment like this, they are now able to do just that.
“It would be nice to think that other play areas will follow suit.”
Claire Henwood, sports and leisure development manager at Sentinel Leisure – which provides sport and leisure services across Waveney – said: “The roundabout gives those with disabilities the chance to play and allows disabled children and abled bodied children to play together which will be great to see.”
Funded by Section 106 money, which builders have to provide when creating new developments, the roundabout is equipped with two rubber stoppers to hold a wheelchair in place and can even allow a full sized motorised chair to be secured safely.
Mr Ardley said: “It is an absolute pleasure to officiate this occasion because it makes the playground more accessible to all.
“In the future there are plans to expand upon this, particularly introducing disabled friendly swings to the Nicholas Everitt playground.”
Long may this support of the less abled in our community continue!