WindReach’s new playground now open
A new playground designed to be accessible for the disabled opened yesterday.
The attraction, at the WindReach centre for the disabled in Warwick, will feature an area for music, a mini-theatre, extra- wide slides and diggers that can be operated by wheelchair users.
The project, in the works for two years, was spearheaded by the Meet a Mum Association's Boundless Bermuda arm, which raised $350,000 for its construction and managed the project.
Becky Lucking, the president of Mama, said at the opening ceremony: “About two years ago, Mama members threw themselves into fundraising with bake sales, car boots, wine tastings and holiday parties.
“We couldn't build a playground on the proceeds of bake sales alone so we reached out to the wider community.
“Our silly signpost in the playground has directions to all sorts of exciting, far flung places — Mount Everest, Disney Land and the moon. But what we believe is that you shouldn't have to travel far to find a magical place so I want to thank all our donors and volunteers for recognising the importance of outdoor play and celebrating all abilities.”
The playground was designed by UK firm Capco. Ms Lucking thanked Mark Cloutier, the former executive chairman of insurance firm Brit, for a substantial donation at the start of the project. She also thanked Nikki Murray-Mason and her team of volunteers for their decorative mosaic, as well as Mama for its fundraising efforts.
Chrissie Kempe, the executive director of WindReach, said that the late Sandy Mitchell, who founded the charity, would have been delighted. She added Mr Mitchell had “looked to improve the lives of individuals living with special needs and enrich the quality of their lives”.
Ms Kempe said: “This is something I can confidently say that Sandy, who is sadly not with us today, would really, really have enjoyed and would have been ear to ear smiles over.
“It really serves our vision and mission and shows how outdoor play and adventure can improve not only our physical, our social but our emotional wellness as well.”
Dylan Peart, a WindReach user, and Stewart Ritchie, the chairman of the board of directors at WindReach, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony before staff, members of the public and other WindReach users toured the site.