SLIDING: North Shore Community centre staff member Suzi Gelling has welcomed a brand-new playground designed to help children with autism and other disabilities. Pictured, Hunter Page, 4, Blake Rydwansk, 4. Photo Patrick Woods
SLIDING: North Shore Community centre staff member Suzi Gelling has welcomed a brand-new playground designed to help children with autism and other disabilities. Pictured, Hunter Page, 4, Blake Rydwansk, 4. Photo Patrick Woods

Community centre opens inclusive 'playground for everyone'

The North Shore Community Centre has unveiled a new playground, designed to help children with "sensory sensitivity issues" after receiving a $28,960 grant.

The playground, which opened last week, was built with recycled materials, where possible, and provides amusement for children aged one to nine.

North Shore Community Centre assistant co-ordinator Suzi Gelling said the outdoor play area, which includes an enclosed playground with an adjoining playroom, was designed with inclusivity in mind.

"We worked on designing the playground so that it was inclusive for children on the autism spectrum," Mrs Gelling said.

"We've got a little shopping centre section where they like to role play and there is a slide and a tunnel, so they are really enjoying the space and exploring it."

Rainbow Families co-ordinator Holly Zwalf rents the playground every Friday and said it was fantastic.

"Because there is a lot of climbing spaces it means the kids have a lot more space to use up their energy," Mrs Zwalf said.

 

Hunter Page, 4, and Blake Rydwansk, 4, having fun in the new playground. Photo Patrick Woods
Hunter Page, 4, and Blake Rydwansk, 4, having fun in the new playground. Photo Patrick Woods

 

Mrs Zwalf helped the playgroup write a letter of support for the grant and said she was already seeing improvements in the sensory sensitive children.

"For the kids with sensory issues it means they have a big place where they can explore and feel safe before they come and engage with the wider group," Mrs Zwalf said.

The North Shore Community Centre has committed the past three years to applying for grants before receiving the $28,960 grant from the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.

The centre which hosts several weekly classes, support services, playgroup's and parent groups hopes the "wonderful new addition" will encourage more locals to use the facilities.

"We hope to attract more families, more groups and events and make the most of the wonderful space we have here," Mrs Gelling said.

For more information, contact the centre on 5450 9700 or visit www.northshorecommunitycentre.org.


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