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Opening Ceremony of the Ability Swing at Gooseberry Hill Playground

On the 8th September Swanton Morley Parish Council hosted a small opening ceremony for its latest addition to the popular Gooseberry Hill play park in the village. Thanks to a generous £10,000 grant from The Norwich Freemen’s Charity and £10,000 from the National Lottery Awards For All, a new accessible ability swing has been installed for wheelchair users. The idea for the swing was first raised by village resident, Pauline Drury who’s daughter Natalie is a wheelchair user.

Parish Council chairman, Roger Atterwill, said, “We did some research and were dismayed to find out that this type of inclusive play equipment is extremely rare in Norfolk. We could only find two other such public swings in the county, none of which are located in Mid Norfolk. We are very grateful to our grant funders and to our contractor, G.L. Jones from Wales, who were very helpful with the design and construction of the swing. I would also like to thank the Drury family for their patience over three years and for their help in ‘road testing’ another swing in the county to make sure ours would be suitable”.

Owen Gibb, Trustee of the Freemen’s Charity said, “It was our pleasure to help this worthwhile project and to come here today and see first hand the difference it has made”.

Mr Atterwill went on to say, “Wheelchair users from across the county are most welcome to visit our play park and make use of this facility. Looking to the future, the Parish Council is determined to ensure that its play provision can be as inclusive as possible. This project is a first step and we are already looking at plans to carry out further work in the future subject to obtaining more grant funding”.

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