Appeal launched to build all ability adventure playground at The Llewellyn School

The amazing inclusive playground design

A fundraiser has been launched to help create a sensory adventure playground at The Llewellyn School in Birchington.

The playground will be accessible to children of all abilities from across the Thanet community. It will have wide ramps and a viewing platform with lights, texture and sounds aa well as a role play area with a farmyard theme. Wheelchair “racetracks” will lead the way to all areas of the playground.

The school is supported by Louie’s Helping Hands – a small registered charity. Through grants and fundraising the charity provides therapies and specialist equipment the children require.

Louie’s Helping Hands aims to help improve the lives and futures of children, aged two-16 living in Kent and the South East with multi-sensory impairments and physical difficulties. It provides life changing support  for the whole family.

The Llewellyn School opened at its Quex Park site in September 2019 following a huge fundraising effort and massive community support. It is headed by Sara  Llewellyn, who set it up to provide education for her son Louie and other children in a similar situation after the closure of the Royal School for the Deaf in December 2015.

Initially based in Margate, the demand for places at Llewellyn meant the couple had to look for bigger premises. Anthony Curwen the managing director of Quex Park in Birchington, offered Sara a plot of land to build the school and planning permission was granted in February 2018.

The therapy and education centre for children with complex physical and mental health needs opened last year thanks to community support through fundraisers and volunteers helping with the build, and the award of grants including  £20,000 from National Grid’s community pot.

Now the school and charity are heading the drive to create the fantastic new playground which is designed by specialist and experienced contractors Timotay Playscape

Several donations have already been made to support the appeal but the target is £30,000 to get the project off the ground.

A spokesperson for Louie’s Helping Hands said: “We are really excited to finally share our vision for The Llewellyn School Playground.

“Something we strongly believe is that all children should be able to access outdoor spaces, but the reality is that actually there are no parks or playgrounds in this area that allow our special children access to play or to be included in family activities outside. We want this to change!

“Our dream is that once completed, this playground will be a safe accessible space that all special need families in our community will be able to come and experience outdoor play all together.”

How to support the playground project

Find out more about Louie’s Helping Hands and The Llewellyn School here