Hatherleigh community interest group Made-Well has recently been awarded over £80,000 to build a fully disability-friendly play park on the grounds for children and adults alike.

John’s Charity, which supports other charitable organisations helping those suffering from mental, physical or age-related illnesses, has granted Made-Well £84,000 to expand its play park so that it includes more accessible play equipment.

The new equipment will include an inclusive seesaw, wheelchair accessible roundabout, wheelchair swing plus actifit equipment such as a bike, elliptical trainer, arm bike and squat. The new equipment will enlarge the play area and ensure that it is fully accessible to disabled and non-disabled alike.

Laura Feaver, Made-Well site manager, said: “Being able to go out and access a play area will be life-changing - being included, not excluded - and it will be good for their self-esteem. They can have fun, meet outside and socialise. It’s for wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users.

“There is no inclusive park in the local area. Playgrounds provide people with many sensory, motor, and socioemotional. Unfortunately, playgrounds also represent an environment where people with disabilities experience barriers to accessing play, there is both a local and a national need for accessible playgrounds.

“Structures prominently found in most playgrounds can present as obstacles for many with disabilities. Investing in an inclusive playground can be a strategic boost for the community.

“A well-designed, inclusive playground enables people of all abilities to develop physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. We know that people accessing Made-Well enjoy the activities that we offer, this project would be a valuable resource, opening opportunities for all.”

Made-Well has also received grants from the Barchester Foundation, a charity that supports older people and adults with disabilities, and the Screwfix Foundation, a grant-giving charity that supports projects helping people in need.

Both charities have donated £5,000 to Made-Well which will use the money to cover the costs of the groundwork needed to be done in preparation for the installation of the new play equipment.

Ground surveyors are expected to arrive at the Made-Well site today (Thursday, October 5) to access the work needed to be done.

Weather permitting, the play park will be ready for use in mid-November, but bad weather may delay the installation until the new year or spring.