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‘Life changing’ inclusive playpark inspired by youngster opens in Perth

Maisie and mum, Claire, enjoying her new swing.
Maisie and mum, Claire, enjoying her new swing.

An inclusive playpark inspired by a girl with cerebral palsy is now open at Perth’s North Inch.

Maisie Moo’s playpark aims to offer a more accessible facility available for use by every child.

It is named after 12-year-old Maisie Wilkie, and comes from a nickname given to the youngster by her parents.

Family struggled to find suitable playpark

Maisie was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was a baby, and her parents struggled to find a park that she could play in due to her having to rely on a wheelchair.

The idea for the park was born four years ago and has taken a monumental £103,000 fundraising effort.

An additional £53,000 worth of grants also came from Perth and Kinross Council.

It features a wheelchair-friendly trampoline, swing, and see-saw as well as specially-designed sensory experiences.

The new playpark has equipment suitable for all children.

Maisie’s mother Claire Wilkie, and family friend Katherine Mckay, took the lead with the fundraising drive with many donations coming from local people.

Claire said: “This space is magnificent, and is amazing for children like Maisie.

“There’s now even an accessible picnic bench, so families could have a picnic and have a real day out.

“Now all children can play together, we are so happy with how everything turned out.”

Claire Wilkie, Maisie Wilkie and Katherine Mckay enjoying the inclusive trampoline.

The park features a tactile paving pathway, offering a rumble trail for visually impaired children and wheelchair users, while a wildflower meadow allows children to experience colour and texture.

A sandplay area also offers an accessible pathway through it.

Sensory play area ‘incredibly important’

Katherine said: “It’s all about inclusion.

“We really fundraised hard for this, we wanted to create a space where all children could be included in playtime.

“We wanted to do something for the community, it started off with the swing initially and then it grew from there.

“Everywhere is wheelchair friendly now, and there are spaces dedicated to sensory play which is incredibly important.”

North inch inclusive playpark
The playpark includes accessible areas so that every child can be included in playtime.

The opening of the playpark has also been welcomed by those living nearby.

Local resident, Jean Beattie, said: “It’s wonderful to see this happening, it has been a long time coming.

“Every child deserves a place where they can go and play. It’s amazing.”

Another, Jane Edwards, said: “It’s great to see that the playpark is now accessible for everybody.”

‘Playtime is for every child’

Executive director of communities for Perth and Kinross Council,  Barbara Renton, said: “It’s been really great to work with Maisie, and Maisie’s family on this.

“This park is going to become a real asset to the disabled community.

“This inclusive playpark allows playtime to be for every child, no matter their background and situation. It’s been an amazing project to work on.

“It really is a life changing park for families who have children with disabilities.

“Being able to enhance young people like Maisie’s lives is truly an amazing thing.”

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