At Crann we want every child to have the opportunity to equally participate and enjoy the cognitive, social, and emotional benefits that play can bring.
Approx. 140k children in Ireland live with a disability. Children with a disability should have opportunities to play with others, be physically active, learn, grow, connect, and have fun. But, they face barriers when using playgrounds and community leisure spaces.
Uniquely, our Model of Care is a holistic suite of services that supports children with neuro-physical disabilities and their families enjoy better health and wellbeing and develop the confidence to self-manage.
This is why we are developing a ¼ acre, fully accessible play and leisure space for our clients at the Crann Centre in Ovens, Co. Cork. Construction commences in July 2021.
Through our work with children and adults with a disability and their families, we identified that children are missing out on the benefits of physical outdoor play with their siblings and other children. This impacts on their emotional and physical wellbeing, inhibits their physical health, and reduces their mobility.
“To be able to see her [daughter] being independent in the playground, [..] to stand back and let her, you know, be independent and not call for me to ask to help”, is a mother’s wish.
Designed by families, for families.
As a result, we conducted research with our members in summer 2020 with the guidance of play researcher Alice Moore and colleagues from the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UCC.
In our research parents expressed the impact of not playing together as a family. Moreover, they felt excluded from risky, unstructured, and social play has impacted their child’s wellbeing and development.
Their specific needs have fed into the design of our state-of-the-art fully accessible facility. In addition, there is ample parking, access to several accessible bathrooms, buildings for groups to sit, relax and dine. As well as a horticultural therapy area, pizza oven and barbeque where children and adults can learn skills and socialise.
Outdoor exercise machines will allow clients to socialise while they exercise. Often, people with a disability engage in less physical activity than recommended. Above all, promotion of accessible spaces in which to be active is vital.
Our collaboration with UCC and Indiana University
We have researched international best practice. Additionally, developed an active collaboration with Play Researcher, Alice Moore and her colleagues from the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University College Cork (UCC) to survey over 200 children and adults with a neuro-physical disability, and their parents/carers.
This ensures the playground and leisure space is designed to the highest inclusive standards and the outcomes for users are thoroughly researched to evidence impact.
Plus our collaboration with Indiana University gives access to tried and tested adaptive movement programmes which we can implement to ensure that children and families have access to the best therapies and opportunities for maximum fun.
Universal Design principles applied to maximise its amenity and usability
The play and leisure space is designed to overcome the challenges these families face through the principles of Universal Design. Specifically to maximises its amenity and usability to the widest range of people possible.
The space will be big, bold, and inviting. Designed with the perfect mix of play equipment, open space, tracks and walkways, big structures, quiet areas, and landscaped areas.
There is ample parking, access to several accessible bathrooms, shelter for relaxation and dining. What’s more a horticultural therapy area, pizza oven and barbeque. So that children and adults can practice cooking and food preparation skills as well as socialise together.
The design’s play experiences like wheelchair swings, moving bridges, sensory and exploration zones will encourage children to follow their imaginations. Along with engaging in a variety of challenging and engaging play activities.
Adaptive Movement Programmes
We will use the playground and leisure space to deliver a wider range of programmes, such as Adaptive Movement programmes developed by our partners at Indiana University, to ensure the best therapies and maximum fun!
Most importantly, ensure children with neuro-physical disabilities and their families can play together and benefit from Adaptive Movement and Mobility programmes.
Your help will make this vision a reality.
Support this unique development by helping us to raise the €500,000 needed to fund the project. We welcome contributions from corporate and SME businesses through donations. Talk to us today to find out more about the sponsorship opportunities.