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Smiles all round at new playground

PUBLISHED: 16:18 02 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:13 20 February 2013

Theo Suen, aged 14, with Sam, a KIDS playworker

Theo Suen, aged 14, with Sam, a KIDS playworker

Hertfordshire County Council and children's charity KIDS brought smiles to the faces of children and parents alike when a new playground was officially opened in Aldenham Country Park, Elstree, on Friday.

Hertfordshire County Council and childrens charity KIDS brought smiles to the faces of children and parents alike when a new playground was officially opened in Aldenham Country Park, Elstree, on Friday.

One mum said she had been dreaming of a playground like this since her 14-year-old son Theo had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Saulan Suen, mum to Theo, and also Eric, 7, said, You dont know what this means to me. I didnt come with any expectations because I have often been disappointed but today I am so happy. To have a play area for Theo with things like a zipwire, which they have in regular playgrounds where Eric plays, means so much. There are access ramps, enough space for wheelchairs and siblings can come to play too.

Aldenham Adventure Playground, situated inside Aldenham Country Park, will be run by the charity KIDS, and provides a range of static play equipment including climbing frames, water play, sand play and a cable ride. The advantage of being inside Aldenham Park means there are also natural wild areas which are linked together by accessible pathways.

A spacious custom built indoor play area in the playground also provides a self contained sensory room, a quiet room, a fully equipped kitchen and a toilet and washing area with a baby changing table.

Richard Roberts, executive member for Childrens Services, said, The playground has fabulous equipment and is in a perfect setting - I can tell from talking to children and their parents and carers today that Aldenham Adventure Playground is going to be an extremely positive addition to their lives. The indoor facility is very impressive and will mean that children can come and play in all weathers and parents have a place to meet and chat.

KIDS is keen to ensure the facility is used as fully as possible, and may provide after school sessions, evening youth clubs, weekend and Holiday play schemes in the future if there is demand. Regional Director Warren Koehler said, This is just the beginning of the adventure and we look forward to welcoming disabled children and their families to enjoy the playground and be part of its future development. We want children to have a bit of an adventure and take risks and explore in a safe environment.


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