Museum bosses launch fundraising campaign for new play area

A fundraising campaign has been launched for a new accessible play area at a popular visitor attraction.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 3rd September 2021, 9:00 am
Woodhorn Museum’s new accessible play area will encourage physical and social play between children of differing ages and abilities.
Woodhorn Museum’s new accessible play area will encourage physical and social play between children of differing ages and abilities.

Museums Northumberland – the independent charity providing the county’s museums service – has launched the public campaign for the new attraction at Woodhorn Museum, in Ashington.

They have already secured over £50,000 in funding from SUEZ Communities Trust and The Ridley Family Charity to help deliver the project, with members of the public being invited help raise the final £3,000 needed to turn the planned accessible playground into a reality.

Rowan Brown, chief executive of Museums Northumberland, said: “Play is an important part of learning, and a great way for children to express themselves.

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“By expanding our existing play area to include more accessible and inclusive play equipment, we can ensure that all children can benefit from visiting our museum, and have the opportunity to learn about our county’s stories.

“We’ve already been successful is raising a significant amount of funding for the new play area thanks to generous donations from SUEZ Communities Trust and The Ridley Family Charity.

"We’re now asking members of the public to help us reach our final funding target so we can start work as soon as possible.”

Adding to the existing play area at Woodhorn Museum, the new accessible play equipment will include a range of experiences to help children interact and learn through movement, sound, vision and memory.

Equipment will include a new Pairs Game to build memory skills, themed around Woodhorn Museum’s mining heritage; a Ferraphone to introduce music and sound; a Cradle Nest Swing that can accommodate more than one child; Conference Stations to enable children to communicate across the play site; and a wheelchair accessible rotating plate.

The play area will be reached via a new wheelchair accessible path and seating will allow parents to relax while being close by.

The new accessible equipment, together with the museum’s existing Pit Yard Play Area, will create an exciting outdoor facility which encourages physical and social play between children of differing ages and abilities.

Marek Gordon, Chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust, said: “SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund.

"We were delighted to be able to offer funding to Museums Northumberland.”