Girl, eight, writes to council over swings for disabled brother

March 20 2017, 9.27pmUpdated: March 21 2017, 10.53am
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An eight-year-old girl has written to a council accusing it of “forgetting” about her disabled twin brother when it installed new equipment at their local park

Naomi Gwynne wrote to South Lanarkshire Council after finding her brother Isaac was unable to use the swings.

Both children are autistic and Isaac is visually impaired by a brain tumour and has severe learning difficulties, so he cannot hold on to a normal swing.

When they visited a new park near their home in Hamilton, Naomi was disappointed to find Isaac could not use the assisted swings as they were too small, so she wrote a letter to the council.

She wrote: “I like the new park but please could you make a disabled swing for it?

“Isaac my twin brother is too big for a baby swing but can’t hold on to the bars of the grown up swings.

“His favourite thing is a swing and we are both sad. Why did you forget about him? I have drawn a swing he would like. Thank you.”

The twins’ mother Miriam Gwynne, 40, said the children were excited when the park opened on Bothwell Road.

She said: “I was surprised when my daughter asked this weekend if I could help her spell ‘disabled’ and then she handed me her wonderful letter.

“I was so emotional that she had noticed and cared so much for her twin brother who has such multiple disabilities.

“I was so sad that a brand new park would not be automatically inclusive and so proud of my eight-year-old for standing up for her brother.

“Isaac has complex autism, is non-verbal, has global delay and learning difficulties and nf1 (disorder). He is also visually impaired and requires a lot of care. But to Naomi he is simply her brother who deserves to play and swing as much as anyone else.”

Mrs Gwynne posted her daughter’s message on Twitter, calling for people to share it.

The council wrote in a direct message to Mrs Gwynne, which she posted on her page: “We try to include different pieces of inclusive play equipment in each of our play areas to offer variety.

“We have asked the designer to look into whether the existing swing frame can incorporate a disabled seat for Isaac. Thanks for letting us know about this.”

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