Special roundabout to help children play

Staff and supporters of Sheffield Childrens Hospital have raised �8,000 to buy a wheelchair friendly roundabout for children. Paula Widdowson, Freya Coulter and Caitlin Hallatt are pictured.
Staff and supporters of Sheffield Childrens Hospital have raised �8,000 to buy a wheelchair friendly roundabout for children. Paula Widdowson, Freya Coulter and Caitlin Hallatt are pictured.
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Staff and supporters of Sheffield Children’s Hospital have raised £8,000 to buy a wheelchair-friendly roundabout for children.

Staff and supporters of Sheffield Children’s Hospital have raised £8,000 to buy a wheelchair-friendly roundabout for children.

Specialist centre Ryegate House provides respite care for children aged 2 to 19 who suffer from complex neurological conditions. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Paula Widdowson, a 52 year-old support worker from Charnock who works at Ryegate House, said: “We have around 26 children who come to us for care overall and we normally look after six at any one time.

“We’ve got a wheelchair swing for the children to play with but only one person can use it at a time so they all have to take turns.

“We thought if we got a wheelchair roundabout more children could be playing rather than sitting watching the others.”

The roundabout was purchased from Inclusive Play, a company which specialise in making play equipment that both disabled and fully able children can enjoy.

The roundabout has enough space to accommodate two children using wheelchairs to play on at the same time and also has a small seated area for children who do not use wheelchairs.

Paul added: “It’ll be so nice for the children to be able to use the roundabout and to feel the air on their face and the sensation of going round,

“The children we look after love sensory lights and noises. Having the roundabout will mean that they’ll be able to do more out in the garden.”

To raise funds for their roundabout, the staff at Ryegate House held quizzes, fairs, coffee mornings, a fashion show and also a ceilidh night at the Women’s Institute in Nether Edge.

Paul said: “Everybody helped out and even if people didn’t organise events they still bought tickets and got their families to go.

“It’s been hard work raising this money but it’s all been worth it.

“It just goes to show that if there’s something you really want and you put your mind to it, you can get it – especially if it’s for the children.”

FUNDRAISING PLANS

The staff at Ryegate House are now fundraising for a memorial garden, a space dedicated to the children who have been cared for by the centre and have since died.

If you would like to make a donation to the centre you can donate online at www.tchc.org.uk/donate and quote ‘Ryegate House’ in your donation.

Caitlin Hallatt, community fundraising assistant for The Children’s Hospital Charity said everyone at Ryegate House had done ‘an incredible job’ with their fundraising.

Commenting on the wheelchair roundabout, she added: “At The Children’s Hospital Charity we fund enhancements that go above and beyond the NHS staple. This roundabout is a great example of a piece of equipment that isn’t necessarily clinical but one that will make a huge difference to some very deserving patients.”