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Casey gets a playspace for everyone

By Eleanor Hopkins

The Touched by Olivia Foundation has announced it will help build an inclusive playspace at Lyndhurst.

The Foundation will partner with the City of Casey to expand the Livvi’s Place National Network.

Touched by Olivia Foundation executive officer Bec Ho said the inclusive playspace was something the national charity had looked forward to for some time.

“We started discussions after a call from our community champion, Therese Howell. She shared with us the great need in this community.

“There are a high number of children with disabilities in the local community, on top of a great deal of growth to the area as a corridor to the Dandenongs.”

Ms Ho said an inclusive play space was more than ramps and wheelchair swings.

“It’s about developing friendships, social skills, and community bonds for our special needs kids, and developing compassion, altruism, empathy, and a community spirit among all our children.”

Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said the council was thrilled to partner with the Touched by Olivia Foundation to establish the playspace.

“The playground at Marriott Waters Recreation Reserve in Lyndhurst will ensure that children of all abilities in Casey can access, enjoy and experience fun in the great outdoors.”

Michelle Jankovic is a local and also runs the support group Helping Hand is Here.

“My son has mild cerebral palsy which effects his balance and used to limit which playspaces he could attend. When he was a toddler, we had to assist him on and off play equipment, and found most equipment was not built to allow him to use his walking frame, which he needed.

“Having an inclusive playspace will not only contribute to muscle building during play, fine motor development when exploring, but most of all…. allow siblings to play together in the same space beside each other.”

The group is all looking forward to the next stage of getting the design started and reaching out to the community to help reach the project goal of $400,000.

The Bank of Melbourne kicked off the fundraising drive with a cheque for $20,000 from its Neighbourhood Fund.

People who would like to donate cash, time, skills or materials should call Bec Ho on 0414 506 606.

Source: Casey Weekly Cranbourne

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