It all amounts to something BIG - help create Wagga’s first inclusive playspace
Published: 02 Aug 2017 12:32pm
A mix of accessible, imaginative and natural play elements will feature in the city’s first inclusive playspace.
Concept designs for the new playground and a community fundraising drive were launched today at Bolton Park – the future site of the new playground.
The inclusive playspace will encourage children of all ages and abilities to play side-by-side in a fun and safe environment.
Wagga Wagga City Council and national charity Touched by Olivia Foundation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2016 to assist in the delivery of the playground. The Touched By Olivia Foundation creates unique, special places, known as Livvi’s Place playgrounds, that provide social inclusion for all children and their families.
Under the MOU, Touched By Olivia will fundraise through community contributions a minimum $100,000 towards the playspace.
Livvi’s Place Wagga Wagga is set to include a variety of ground-level accessible or adjustable-height equipment, including trampoline and carousel and wheelchair-friendly swing and see-saw. There will also be a multi-directional swing with nest seat, climbing platform structure and a range of interactive sensory pieces and panels.
A range of floor coverings including mulch, grass and rubber softfall, plantings, rocks, logs and wooden totem poles will complete the overall natural landscape.
Security and safety features and a barbecue area for get-togethers has also been included in the concept design.
Delivery of the full playground design is dependent on the amount of money raised through the community fundraising effort and the availability of grant funding – which Council will seek to obtain.
“The design for Wagga Wagga’s own inclusive playspace has been developed and finalised after consultation with the community and local stakeholders,” Strategic Asset Planner (Parks and Recreation) Ben Creighton said.
“The playspace is the first of its kind in the region and will offer a range of play equipment and sensory features that will allow all children in our community to socialise and enjoy the wonders of play.
Wagga Wagga mother Leila Bright, whose eldest daughter was born with a disability, helped unite Council and the Touched by Olivia Foundation.
“Touched by Olivia is so excited to be working with Wagga Council and the community to create a place where no one gets left behind,” Touched By Olivia Executive Officer Bec Ho said.
“We were really moved by Leila’s campaign, and after learning of Council’s plans to deliver an inclusive playspace, we were only too happy to partner with this project.”
In addition to the community fundraising effort, Council has committed $100,000 towards the playspace and grant funding of $10,000 from Northcott and $75,000 from the NSW Government’s Office of Sport and Recreation have also been secured.
Help create Wagga’s inclusive playspace
Play a special part in the delivery of Wagga Wagga’s first inclusive playspace. If you would like to donate to help reach the minimum $100,000 community contribution target, visit www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/livvisplacewagga or SMS ‘WAGGA’ to 0437 371 371 and details will be sent through on how donate.
All donations welcome, it all amounts to something BIG for Wagga.
About Touched By Olivia Foundation
“Creating the Foundation is our way of finding a positive meaning arising from the immeasurable pain of losing our little girl Olivia, at only 8 months old to a rare disease called Lymphangioma. It is our way of bringing Olivia’s touch to others by creating a positive change in the future of other children.” John & Justine Perkins–Founders
Our dream of healthier and happier lives for our kids is being realised through two key initiatives. One being the creation of inclusive playgrounds, enabling children, regardless of ability, to play side by side. Touched by Olivia Foundation have 42 sites planned across Australia, four of which are completed and seven in various stages of development. It is thought this, that the creation of inclusive play spaces is encouraging a generational change in the way children and more importantly, their parents, treat those with disabilities. The unique strategy of partnership between government, corporate and community to build social assets has been recognised by World Leisure Organisation with the 2011 International Innovation Award amongst other honours in the five years since the Foundation began.