School children revel in top new playground

Opening of a new outdoor play area at Highfurlong School.  Some of the children use the facilities for the first time.
Opening of a new outdoor play area at Highfurlong School. Some of the children use the facilities for the first time.
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Children at a Blackpool special school are free to run and play on their own specially-made playground thanks to a charity grant.

The Wooden Spoon Society and The Vera Wolstencroft Children And Animal Charitable Trust donated £57,000 to Highfurlong School on Blackpool Old Road to fund the creation of an accessible playing area for disabled youngsters.

Opening of a new outdoor play area at Highfurlong School.  Pictured is Riley Walsh, aged 4.

Opening of a new outdoor play area at Highfurlong School. Pictured is Riley Walsh, aged 4.

Assistant headteacher Cherryl Drabble said: “It’s a whole new sensory playground. It’s got little musical instruments and an adventure play area for the children to go in and out of, and it’s all wheelchair-friendly.

“There’s been a lot of care and attention put into it.

“It’s really good for our children because they have never had anything like this before.

“It’s for both able-bodied children and those in wheelchairs as well, so they can play together. The children adore it. They can’t wait to get out and have a go on the swinging chair. They are really enjoying it. It’s got a rubber surface so even if they fall over they don’t hurt themselves.

Opening of a new outdoor play area at Highfurlong School.  Pictured is Alexis Skivington, aged 7.

Opening of a new outdoor play area at Highfurlong School. Pictured is Alexis Skivington, aged 7.

“It does make it very special for our children. They are absolutely loving it.”

The one-of-a-kind playground, which was designed specifically for Highfurlong School, was given its grand opening on Monday.

Mrs Drabble said: “We appealed for the money about 12 months ago. It’s been a long time coming but we got confirmation some months ago.

“The parents are very happy and very pleased that their children are getting the best resources possible. It’s state-of-the-art. We know that our children deserve the best and are moving heaven and earth to make sure they get the best.

“We have been fundraising for two years and we have had some very large donations, which is very nice for our children.

“They deserve everything that they are given.”