Playground success

SWING: Mac Seal pushes Kane Phillips and Jedd Venning on the group swing at the new playground.
SWING: Mac Seal pushes Kane Phillips and Jedd Venning on the group swing at the new playground.

Just an hour after school term ends, Kimba’s new all-abilities playground is swarming with children embracing the holidays.

The $150,000 project opened recently, and is already having a positive impact on the children in Kimba.

Kimba mother Chloe Hanan had the idea to renovate Kimba’s existing playground to be more inclusive, after her daughter Mya struggled during trips to the playground.

Two-year-old Mya has autism, and developmental delay has made it difficult for her to participate in playground activities most children find second nature.

While renovating the playground proved too logistically difficult, the Kimba District Council jumped on board to back a $150,000 Fund My Neighbourhood grant application.

Mrs Hanan said she was surprised to see the application successful, with around 180 community votes backing the project.

“We thought, small country town, we’d be lucky to get funding,” she said.

Mrs Hanan took on much of the responsibility for planning the playground, with the needs of the whole community in mind.

“We are a community of young families,” she said.

While not every disability can be catered for on a budget, she said she had the needs of the current community in mind, and tried to make the playground accessible for everyone if they came with a friend.

“I really wanted to create a space where kids with disabilities could play with their friends.”

Major features of the playground include wheelchair accessible ramps, a wheelchair accessible merry-go-round and a group swing.

After a week of visiting the playground, Mrs Hanan said Mya’s confidence on the playground had increased significantly.

“Being able to climb things in a safe space has been awesome for her.”

Mrs Hanan thanked the Kimba parents group who raised $4500 for the fence, and the Kimba District Council for bringing the project to life.

“The council really took on the idea and ran with it.”