Challengers charity launches Big Play Appeal

November 19, 2022| News + Events, Past Issues

Challengers charity launches Big Play Appeal campaign to build an accessible playground for disabled children.

A new quarter of a million-pound state-of-the art playground which would transform the lives of thousands of disabled children is due to be built in Guildford.

The campaign, Big Play Appeal, is being launched by local disability charity, Challengers, which has provided more than 40 years of fun and accessible play for children of all ages.

The playground’s design, inspired by the Surrey Hills, will be a multi-functional space with specialist equipment aimed at facilitating fun and adventure for disabled children and will be built at the Challengers Guildford Playcentre in Stoke Park.

When not in use Challengers will be looking to open the centre up for Family Fun Days, for local families to enjoy together. It is an exciting opportunity to build a space bringing disabled and non-disabled children together, where they can make friends and learn from each other.

“Our new playground will benefit the community as a whole, bringing us a step closer to achieving our vision of a world where all children and young people can play together, freely.” Gen Dearman, CEO

The support of the local community and businesses is crucial to the playground’s development. Challengers have launched a major crowdfunding campaign to help fund the cost of the project and to reach the huge target of £250,000 and start the playground build. Challengers need the support of the community to donate, fundraise and spread awareness of their Big Play Appeal.

Parents whose children attend Challengers are really excited about the new play-ground and the difference it will make to their children’s lives; “Children with disabilities deserve opportunities to access play. This is currently something we lack in Surrey. This playground will allow children who use Challengers and families in Surrey to play in a safe and secure area. Parents will feel comfortable and safe when allowing their children to play in this new playground, this is often something they can’t feel in other playgrounds in Surrey”. Parent Supporter, Challengers.

According to research from the disability equality charity Scope “Half of families with disabled children in the UK, face accessibility problems with their local playground.” The new Challengers playground will provide a place where children and young people can play freely, with equipment to suit a wide range of needs, as well as opening up an opportunity for local families to use the space and benefit from inclusive play.

Guildford MP Angela Richardson said, “I have had the pleasure of visiting Guildford Challengers and have seen the positive impact Challengers has on children, young people, and their families. It is clear that the children love to attend Challengers and get so much out of the centre, but it is missing a vital element, an inclusive and accessible playground for all to enjoy. Disabled children and young people are so often excluded from society, including local playgrounds, so to have access to a specially designed playground is invaluable to the disabled community and their families.”

The community can help to raise the money needed by: