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It’s Just Fair Play



A new inclusive and accessible playground is setting the standard for inclusivity across the UK by enabling people of all ages and abilities to play together. 


The Fair Play playground includes accessible equipment which spins, rocks, and swings, along with sensory panels for touch, movement and sound - all selected with the disability community in mind. 


Solid safety surfacing across the whole play area ensures it is wheelchair accessible, and the picnic area allows wheelchair users and non-wheelchair users to sit together.


The playground in Barnet, North London, has been given a gold rating by Planning Inclusive Play Areas (PiPA PLAY) – the UK’s only accreditation scheme for evaluating accessible and inclusive play area design.


There are one million disabled children in the UK. But research from Scope has shown that half (49%) of parents with disabled children say there are accessibility issues at their local playground, and more than one in ten families living with disability (13%) were unable to enjoy the playground because their children were not able to play together. 


The Fair Play playground empowers disabled and non-disabled people of all ages to play together without exclusion or bias. Local residents with disabilities, parents, carers and accessibility experts have been involved in shaping the project from the outset, putting the disability community at the heart of its design.


The founders of Fair Play, Deborah Gundle and Nathalie Esfandi, with the assistance of Angela Harding OBE, rose to the challenge to bring their vision of a truly inclusive playground to life. The pair raised funds independently and mobilised various partners including Barnet Council, Scope, PiPA Play, and Kompan to construct the playground and lay the groundwork for the future of play.


Deborah, a social entrepreneur and learning disabilities activist, wanted to create a playground that would remove the current barriers of having fun, social inclusion and fitness accessibility.

 

“As a mother with a disabled son, I know how difficult it is for families like ours to be able to play together,” said Deborah, co-founder of Fair Play.


“A lot of hard work has gone into this project, and seeing the equipment being used by disabled and non-disabled children side-by-side is incredibly rewarding. I’d love for every playground to allow people of all ages and abilities to play in this way and we hope Fair Play will act as the blueprint for new playgrounds up and down the country.”


The half a million-pound playground has been paid for through independent funding and donations, including £100,000 from Barnet Council.

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