CHILDREN in wheelchairs can now enjoy the simple pleasures of a playground swing following the installation of a liberty swing at the Clarence Plains Child and Family Centre (CPCFC) at Clarendon Vale.
The CPCFC received $25,000 in funding from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) to purchase and install the outdoor play equipment, which will be available for children of all ages and abilities at the centre.
The liberty swing was officially unveiled in March at the CPCFC and Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre’s fourth birthday celebrations.
Project co-ordinator Jen Dare said the liberty swing was the first phase of a progressive plan by the CPCFC to engage local children and their families through inclusive play.
“The liberty swing will enable a child in a wheelchair or with a physical impairment to experience the exhilaration of swinging through the air,” she said.
“It is part of a wider project called Dare to Dream which recognises that all children should have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors and play and learn with their friends and family.
“This swing marks an important step in the right direction.”
The Department of Education installed the swing on rubber softfall within a fenced area of the existing playground to meet the Australian standard.
Clarence City Council provided a community grant to fund the transport of the liberty swing from Sydney to Hobart.
All signage was supplied by Variety the Children’s Charity of Tasmania.
CPCFC leader Ian Brown said the project was an excellent example of how various community-focused organisations can work successfully together.
“This project would not have been possible without the significant grants and support received from the TCF, Clarence City Council and Variety the Children’s Charity of Tasmania,” he said.
“And we have had fantastic support from more than 70 local and Hobart-based businesses that supplied gifts for fundraising and our construction team which provided its services at reduced costs to enable the project to proceed.
“We also wish to thank the Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood Centre, Clarendon Vale Primary School and Rokeby High School for their valued collaboration.”
TCF chairwoman Lynn Mason said she was delighted to join the CPCFC in officially “opening” the new play equipment.
“The TCF is pleased to support such a worthy project that will no doubt bring great joy to many local children,” she said.
“Outdoor play provides children with the opportunity to explore their environment, have adventures and practice social and physical skills.
“On behalf of the TCF Board, I commend the CPCFC for making its playground more accessible to children of all abilities.”
Minister for Human Services Jacquie Petrusma said she was pleased to take part in the opening of the liberty swing and to join families and staff for the fourth birthday celebrations.
“I would like to thank staff at both centres for their dedication and hard work to deliver essential support services to those living in the Clarence Plains community,” she said.
The Tasmanian Community Fund was established in 1999 following the sale of the Trust Bank.
An independent funding body, the Fund provides grants to community organisations that make a difference by improving the social, environmental and economic wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.
For more information on how to apply for TCF grants and to view grant recipients from Grant Round 31 visit: www.tascomfund.org
Caption: Isabel Bevan, 7, of Clarendon Vale, tries out the new liberty swing at the Clarence Plains Child and Family Centre.