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Youngsters try out new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone

By John Nurden

A specialist swing has been installed in a park for children in wheelchairs to use.

Pupils from The Beacon School were the first try the swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone.

Family, friends and teachers gathered on Friday to watch as they had their first go. The new swing has been installed by Folkestone and Hythe District Council.

Lucy from Beacon Park School tries out the new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone, watched by council leader Cllr David Monk
Lucy from Beacon Park School tries out the new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone, watched by council leader Cllr David Monk

Council leader Cllr David Monk said: "It was wonderful to see the joy on the faces of the children trying a swing for the first time. This equipment means wheelchair-users can now experience being on a swing."

He encouraged residents keen to have similar equipment in their area to seek funding from charities such as Biffa Award, Big Lottery, SITA Trust, Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd (WREN) and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.

Also at the launch were Cllr John Collier, cabinet member for property management, council chairman and Broadmead ward councillor Ann Berry and Kent County Council councillor Dick Pascoe.

Folkestone and Hythe District Council will be installing a new outdoor fitness zone in the park before the end of the summer.

Pupils from Beacon Park School at the opening of the new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone
Pupils from Beacon Park School at the opening of the new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone

The Radnor Park community group raised funds for the project. Further funding was provided through Kent County Council. Cllrs Pascoe and Berry also helped free up cash from Environmental Improvement Grants and ward councillor grants.

The swing can take people and their wheelchairs up to 250kg (39 stone).

A special key is needed to access the swing and tie-downs secure the wheelchair to the swing. They can be borrowed from Radnor Park tea rooms although users are advised to take their own if the tea rooms are shut.

Amber from Beacon Park School tries out the new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone
Amber from Beacon Park School tries out the new wheelchair swing in Radnor Park, Folkestone

Ward Councillors give community grants every year. To find out more, visit www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/community-funding

For support, advice, events and all things to do with parenting in Kent, visit My Kent Family here.

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone

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