A Hammersmith mum is raising money for a wheelchair accessible swing as she campaigns to make local parks more accessible for disabled children.
Hayley Wedgbury, who has lived in the borough for 12 years since moving down from Birmingham, was frustrated by the lack of facilities that could be used by her eight-year-old daughter Mia, who has cerebral palsy.
Hayley has now teamed up with Hammersmith & Fulham Council to get a wheelchair accessible swing included as part of the regeneration of Wormholt Park. The goal is to raise £14,000 to cover the cost and installation of the swing, with the council agreeing to match whatever is donated by residents towards this total.
To donate to Hayley’s cause, visit her crowdfunding page.
“I am absolutely thrilled and really grateful that the council have agreed to help out Mia and all the other disabled children who would benefit from the new swing,” Hayley says.
“Mia loves to play and loves to interact with other children, so it was pretty disheartening walking through the parks in the weekends and school holidays as all the mainstream activities are not accessible to wheelchairs and so we would be on the sideline watching other children play.
“When she visits accessible parks she is absolutely in her element, laughing. She absolutely enjoys it.”
When Hayley first came to the borough, she got in touch with local support group Parents Active, which helps families with disabled children. After she noticed a shortage of inclusive play equipment in the borough, they put her in touch with the council’s parks team who have stepped in to help bring her goal to life.
“We are delighted to help out with Hayley’s campaign,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
“It is only right that disabled children should be able to experience the same joy from our playground facilities as every other child. Along with the new wheelchair-accessible roundabout in Ravenscourt Park, it underlines our commitment to being inclusive.”
Hayley has launched a crowdfunding page where she is hoping generous residents will chip-in and help her achieve her goal. So far she has raised more than £2,700 of her target.
“Getting the swing installed would just mean the opportunity to go out and know where we’re going and know we’re feeling welcomed,” Hayley adds.
“If you’re not catered for, it’s hard to feel welcomed in a community. But I don’t just want to raise money, I want to raise awareness too.”