Client: Derian House Children’s Hospice in Chorley, Lancashire
Brief: To provide an inclusive, tactile and colourful playground for the life-threatened children and their able-bodied brothers and sisters of the school to all use together
Cost: Approx £82k
Wicksteed was commissioned to work on this project to help enhance the outdoor play experience for the children of Derian House and their families and right from the start Wicksteed knew it was important for the school community to really be able to take ownership of the new environment. Inclusivity was key and it was imperative that provision of play and learning facilities would be in keeping with the surrounding area.
At the heart of the design is a bespoke play den, endearingly called the ‘Hobbit House’. Complete with artificial grass covering its dome-shaped roof, it also features double width doors allowing easy access for wheelchair users.
A wide trellis bridge was designed to enable full access into a wooded area via a smooth, specially laid pathway .
The ever popular Pendulum Swing and a Revolva roundabout have also been installed to provide some thrilling physical sensations for children with a varying range of ages and abilities. With a couple of tactile panels lining the wide paths, the whole environment provides the perfect balance of products to offer energetic play and exercise together with quiet areas for reflection and relaxation. This new facility is one of the first of its kind in the northwest and the transformation of the original site has really made the most of the space and the pupils and their families are thoroughly enjoying their unique outdoor zone.
Comms Officer, Dan Croft, said: “…Our stunning new playground enables life-threatened children and their siblings to play together in a safe, caring environment and the effect it will have on the lives of Derian families cannot be measured.”