The Diversity Park in Portstewart opened in the summer – and already it’s proving to be an award winning facility. Its mix of play equipment for able bodied children, as well as those with disabilities and sensory needs, helped it secure a ‘highly commended’ Access Award from The William Keown Trust at a recent ceremony in Lisburn.
The awards give recognition to businesses and organisations who make positive efforts to assist disabled people. The award was collected by the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey, alongside designer and project manager Wayne Hall and the Council’s Head of Infrastructure John Richardson. Speaking about the success, the Mayor said: “The Diversity Park in Portstewart is a credit to everyone involved. Its popularity since it first opened has been overwhelming.
As a Council, we are proud to be leading the way when it comes to inclusiveness, and nothing illustrates this better than all children, regardless of ability, being able to play together. “It was an honour for us to attend the awards ceremony, and I would like to thank the William Keown Trust for their interest and the recognition they have shown to the facility.” The Diversity Park, which is located in the grounds of Flowerfield Arts Centre, is a truly unique facility across the Causeway Coast and Glens and beyond. It’s the first play park in Northern Ireland to feature an aero glider, which was imported from America.
It also features a wheelchair swing which allows wheelchair users to enjoy the experience of playing on a swing. For those with sensory needs, the park features a number of scented organs which give off a variety of smells including honey and lavender.
There’s also an area aimed at younger children and infants, picnic tables and a quiet area. The park was created thanks to funding provided through the Council’s contribution to the Landfill Communities Fund, which is administered by Ulster Wildlife. –