Limavady woman campaigns for inclusive play park

Gemma Lynch's petition
Gemma Lynch's petition

A Limavady woman is campaigning for an inclusive play park in the town for children with physical disabilities and sensory disorders.

Gemma Lynch’s petition asking Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council to build an accessible park in Limavady was launched yesterday and has so far received almost 300 signatures.

We have no accessible play facilities for children in wheelchairs, or specially adapted pushchairs

Gemma Lynch

Gemma said other than facilities provided for special needs education in Limavady by Rossmar School and “a great greenspace area at Backburn Path, we have no accessible play facilities for children in wheelchairs, or specially adapted pushchairs.”

“We also have no sensory areas, with parents having to travel out of the area to take their children to facilities adapted to their needs,” said Gemma.

She said she was inspired to campaign after seeing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child displayed at her children’s school and listening to friends forced to travel outside the town to find suitable play facilities for their children with special needs.

She said Limavady would benefit from a facility similar to the newly-opened ‘Diversity Park’ in Portstewart which is inclusive for people of various ages and include facilities for those with disabilities and sensory needs.

Limavady mum, Cathy Simpson, has two sons who have special needs. She said other than facilities at their school, Rossmar, there is nothing suitable for them in Limavady. She said the only park her children are able to use is at Alexander Road, but even that is limited.

“It’s hard trying to find something practical. My eldest son has limited mobility and uses a wheelchair part time, so I am limited,” said Cathy. “It’s about finding a happy medium, but it’s not in Limavady.”

A spokesperson from Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council said: “Council is currently reviewing its Play Park provision across the Borough and part of that review will consider DDA compliance aspects in the existing play parks and any plans for new facilities.”