Weston Town Council is proud to announce the opening of Castle Batch all-inclusive SEND play area Saturday 15th July at 10.00am.
With thanks to the funding from Weston Town Council, National Lottery Community Fund, North Somerset Council, NSC Improving Play Spaces Fund, Big Worle and Tesco, the play area is designed to cater to the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Located in Castle Batch in Worle, the play area has been developed to provide a safe and accessible space for families to enjoy free of charge.
The new play area fills a significant gap in the area as there is currently no park in Weston-super-Mare suitable for people with SEND. The Castle Batch play area is open to everyone, regardless of need.
Some of the comments, received from the consultation process:
‘This would make a huge difference to local children. At present the only accessible park is a long drive away which isn’t always practical. It is important for all children to exercise in a fun way but children with additional needs, some of them can’t manage physically or emotionally to play team games such as football or tennis have few safe fun places to help them to improve their mobility and self-confidence’.
‘Having Sen and regular equipment alongside each other is great, especially for mixed-ability families. Anything wheelchair accessible is really appreciated particularly for older children who cannot easily be lifted. Thank you so much for investigating some inclusive options.’
‘This would be so beneficial for my wheelchair-bound daughter we never get to go to the park and use the equipment it would be lovely to have this opportunity so she can be involved in a normal part of child play’.
In January of this year the BBC’s Newsround published an article on a research report for Scope (who campaign for equality for disabled people) released in May 2022. Stating that they found almost half of families with SEND children (49%) feel their local playground is not accessible. More than 31,000 people have signed a petition from the charity calling on the UK government to support accessible play. One in seven parents said they could not enjoy the playground as a family because siblings could not play together, which echo’s the Town Councils own research.
Councillor Peter Crew said ‘We are proud of the collaborative working between both councils, our partners, the community and of our great team at Weston Town Council. Together we have made a flagship park that will be enjoyed for many years to come and will act as an example of inclusive parks UK wide.
As a councillor who has championed the needs of the Worle community for many years, I’m delighted to have played a part of bringing this SEND all-inclusive play park to Worle’.
Malcolm Nicolson Town Clerk said ‘Weston Town Council recognises that outdoor play areas are essential for the holistic development of all children as they provide a safe and stimulating environment for children to explore, learn, and develop their physical, sensory, social, emotional, and cognitive skills. We currently maintain and look after a total of 22 parks and play areas which are on a current programme of updating as funds allow’.
There will be a launch event at Saturday 15th July at 10.00am with activities for children.
We also invite you to join the new Castle Batch Neighbourhood Watch Scheme https://www.ourwatch.org.uk/scheme/62594/castle-batch.