A fundraising push for a playground for children of all abilities has almost hit its target in Cobh.
The initiative spearheaded by Cobh Playground Fundraising, will be East Cork’s largest playground for children of mixed ability when complete.
While the project is not yet ready for construction, the group say they are pushing for the final €10,000.
On Saturday 21 October comedian Ross Browne will bring his show to the Commodore. Tickets for the event hosted by Red Rock’s Carol O’Rielly are on sale at the hotel for €15.
A tender for the project is open with a view to starting construction in the New Year.
Construction start date will depend on the awarding of the tender and availability of the successful contractor.
Plans for the extension of the playground at the Five Foot Way include features for children with developmental issues and children that prefer more sensory play, along with Swings, seesaws, zip lines, baby changing unit, public toilet and street furniture.
PRO - Ruairí De Barra said the €180,000 fund will almost double the play area making it the biggest mixed ability playground in East Cork.
To date Cork County Council have invested €60,000 representing almost 50% of the programme and provided the site for the project.
A further €7,000 was given by the Minister for Children Catherine Zapone.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of Cork County Council, they have been open, transparent and couldn’t do enough for us, including all our local representatives across the board.” commented Mr De Bara.
The community response to the project has been very positive, within 24hrs, over 500 responses were received to an online survey.
60% found facilities in the towns playgrounds to be poor, 29% not good. 96% of respondents said they would support a community fundraising effort. 80% consider a drive and park facility is essential. 95% felt a playground should be secured overnight.
An all-inclusive playground looks just like a regular playground, but small adaptive changes make it more accessible for special needs and different abled.
Right now there are age gaps in the play furniture at the town’s two play areas, and are not suitable for use by children who are wheelchair bound or have other physical or intellectual disabilities. Only 3 – 4 year olds are able to use the towns playground in the promenade, they have limited use of the playground at the five foot way. The climbing frame and slide at both locations are not big enough for children over the age of 4 years. There’s no swing in either of the locations. The outdoor area in the promenade is not secure leaving children to easily wander off. When the weather is good parents have no choice but to travel to other playgrounds out of town like Carrigtwohill, and Glounthane.
To date Cobh Early Learning, Cobh Motor Mart, Dupey (J&J), Cobh Credit Union, Stryker, A+ Fitness Cobh, DKH Cobh, Merck, Vit Hit and Cobh Boat Hire have committed to sponsoring play furniture.

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