New desert island-themed playground 'a dream come true' at Ty Hafan

PLAYGROUND: Five-year-old Lewis Smith and his mum Nichola cut the ribbon to officially open the playground

FUN TIMES: The playground was described as a "dream come true" for children in wheelchairs

OPENING: Life-limited children, young people and their families attended a hero-themed party to officially launch the playground

VARIETY: Other features of the playground include wheelchair swings, slides, a sunlight tunnel and a light wall

First published in News

SULLY-BASED children's hospice Ty Hafan officially opened its new desert island-themed playground in Children’s Hospice Week.

Life-limited children, young people and their families attended a hero-themed party at the hospice before enjoying the sunshine to witness the official opening of the new playground.

The playground was described as a "dream come true" for children in wheelchairs.

The entire space is accessible for wheelchair users and every piece of equipment has been selected with integration in mind. The state-of-the-art facility includes a race track, wheelchair trampoline, wheelchair see-saw and bespoke lighthouse. Other features include wheelchair swings, slides, a sunlight tunnel and a light wall.

For many of the children supported by Ty Hafan, it will be the first time they will be able to use a playground due to their conditions.

Five-year-old Lewis Smith and his mum Nichola cut the ribbon to officially open the playground overlooking the Bristol Channel. Lewis, from Llantwit Fadre, suffers from Tuberous Sclerosis and was referred to Ty Hafan in 2010.

His mum Nichola said: “The playground is a dream come true for children in wheelchairs. Lewis is quite movement-dependant so the playground is a fantastic facility for him to not only have fun, but it also helps to relax and soothe him. I never thought it would be possible to have a wheelchair trampoline – it’s absolutely fantastic"

She added: “It’s also a wonderful facility for his sister to enjoy and it’s something they can do together. It was fantastic to officially open the playground and it was lovely to see so many families having fun.”

Ty Hafan’s Chief Executive Ray Hurcombe said: “Every child has the right to play and this new facility allows children of all abilities to enjoy the excitement of a playground. We are passionate about providing our families with unique and enriching experiences and this is a fantastic example of Ty Hafan leading the way in children’s palliative care. We could not complete projects like these without the generosity of our supporters, and I’d like to thank our corporate sponsors and of course, the public, for their kind support.”

Real Radio, Dow Corning, J L Harrison Enterprise Fund, Making a Difference Locally Ltd, The Waterloo Foundation, The Freemasons Grand Charity, Barclays Wealth, Mumbles Community Council, Co-operative Employee Benefits and Ortho-clinical Diagnostics all made significant donations towards the £250,000 project.

Ty Hafan, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, has supported almost 600 life-limited children, young people and their families since 1999. The charity takes its support right into the family home and is there to help families through every step of their unimaginable journey. For Ty Hafan to offer this unique service completely free of charge to families in Wales, it has to raise almost £3.7 million every year.

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