New inclusive play equipment installed at Sunderland's Hylton Park for young wheelchair users

The equipment, which includes wheelchair swing and inclusive wheelchair accessible roundabout, has been installed at the Hylton Park play area as part of a £3 million investment into Sunderland parks and open spaces. 

The swing and roundabout is exclusively for wheelchair users and is suitable for range of age groups, including young children of all abilities as well as older children.

The AbilitySwing is an enclosed wheelchair swing designed specifically for people with limited mobility in mind while the roundabout allows children to test their balance when at full speed as well as enhancing spatial awareness skills.

The equipment was installed by Sunderland City Council in partnership with Streetscape Products & Services Ltd.

Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “I am delighted to see the official handover of this game-changing piece of play equipment. We want to see all children enjoy this park and not be limited by their mobility. Now more and more families will be able to enjoy this park.”

The equipment was funded by £16,975 from the North Area Committee and matched with a £20,020 contribution from the council.

Councillor Denny Wilson, Chair of the North Area Committee, said: “It’s fantastic to see work complete to install these new inclusive pieces of play equipment, which will make Hylton Castle play park a more fun and accessible place for children of all ages and abilities.”

The enclosure is exclusively opened by an independent access key which guarantees no unauthorised use, therefore preventing entry to all except wheelchair users.

Children have already been enjoying the inclusive equipment, including nine year old Will Calvert, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

His Aunt, Angela Turnbull, said: “I thought this would bring inclusion to children with less mobility than others, but the reaction of Will the first time he went on the swing was beyond belief, to hear a child say they had not been on a swing for years and how amazing it was broke my heart.”

The North Area Committee has also bought Beach Wheelchairs to enable accessibility on Roker Beach.