Praxis Care’s new garden and play area in Conlig, County Down has been officially opened, with parents, children, Praxis Care’s senior management and staff, health trust representatives and local media all joining in the celebration.
The Play Haven Project was funded after it won the Big Lottery Fund’s People’s Millions competition, and from Beechfield’s own fundraised income. An initial entry form was completed in May 2013 to the Big Lottery Fund’s People’s Millions competition which is run in partnership with UTV and a further project plan was submitted in September 2013 for Beechfield Play Haven Project. The project won a place on the final list of projects that went through to the public voting day. The Play Haven Project was featured on UTV Live on Wednesday 27th November 2013 and secured 6,139 public votes. It was awarded £26,499 to create the play and garden area at the Beechfield Children’s Respite Care Unit, Conlig, County Down.
The Play Haven Project groundwork commenced in April 2014 and work was undertaken to level the existing ground work, uplift and replace the concrete paving slabs to replace with a wet pour soft safety surface. The project also gave us the opportunity to purchase an external playhouse and sensory equipment that the children and young people can use on a daily basis. The Play Haven Project created a safe and accessible garden and play area for children, young people and families with severe learning, physical disabilities and/or complex health needs.
Geraldine Andrews, Fundraising Officer, Praxis Care said:
“We are delighted to have won the Big Lottery Fund’s People’s Millions competition and to have the opportunity to create a safe play and garden area for children and young people with severe learning and physical disabilities. The Play Haven Project will give the children the same experience of the outdoor activities as those without a disability in a safe controlled environment.
“The Play Haven Project will improve the children and young people’s quality of life, stimulate their senses and provide a place for participation and interaction which will promote participation, self esteem and stimulation.”
Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund’s Northern Ireland Director, said: “This is a brilliant result and shows what groups can achieve when they have the support of their community behind them.”
Improving the facilities at Beechfield Children’s Respite Care Unit will complement the existing services which Praxis Care runs at the unit which is a short break/ respite care for 50 children, young people and families with severe learning disabilities, physical disabilities and/or complex health needs.
Praxis Care would like to thank the following organisations/individuals for their support with the People’s Millions competition:
- Praxis Care local projects, staff and service users
- Ards Borough Council
- North Down Borough Council
- Belfast City Airport
- Southern Eastern Health & Social Care Trust
- Clandeboye Lodge Hotel
- Ards Shopping Centre
- Bangor Community Radio
- Tesco, Knocknagoney
- Tesco, Bawn Shopping Centre
- Springhill Shopping Centre
- Parents, carers and friends of Beechfield Children’s Respite Unit
- Local MLAs and Councillors
- St Patrick’s Academy, Lisburn
- Portavogie Primary School
- Movilla High School
- Bangor Grammar School
- Clifton School
- Torbank Primary School
- Big Lottery Fund
- County Down Spectator
- Ards Chronicle
- Community Telegraph
- Belfast Telegraph
- External and internal supporters
- General Public
- Facebook and Twitter followers
- Volunteers and individuals who gave out leaflets on public voting day
For more information about the Praxis Care Play Haven project visit the Praxis Care website www.praxiscare.org.uk or call Praxis Care on 028 90 234555.
News Release ends
Notes to media
For further information about the work of Praxis Care call Geraldine Andrews, Fundraising Officer on 028 90 727198.
Praxis Care is the largest Northern Ireland charity providing care for nearly 1,500 vulnerable children and adults affected by mental ill-health, learning disability and acquired brain injury.
The organisation works across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England and the Isle of Man.
The services provided include accommodation care and support services, floating support and home response services, day activities, advocacy and befriending services www.praxiscare.org.uk