Providing hospice care for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions as well as extending support to the child’s family is not only the purpose of Rebecca House, but their privilege.
Since the purpose-built facility opened in 2007, Rebecca House has extended support to many of our Island’s most vulnerable children, and over time has been incredibly well-loved and indeed, well-used.
Because of this, part of Hospice Isle of Man’s ‘Enhancing the Healing Environment’ project aims to modernize and equip our Rebecca House Wing to meet advancing disability regulations and future-proof the facility, including its much-loved playground which will also go through a magical makeover.
Of course in order to equip the playground to be fit-for-purpose and safe for the children of Rebecca House to use with their varied limitations, the costs of the playground refurbishment will understandably be significant, estimated at approximately £35,000-£40,000.
Eight year old Dylan Walton, who has been referred to Rebecca House since 2013, has conditions such as Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy and despite difficulty walking, has decided to take on the incredible challenge of climbing our Island’s highest peak and only mountain, Snaefell to help raise funds towards our new playground which is fun, safe and specific to the needs of the children at Rebecca House.
Anne Mills Hospice Chief Executive said: “Committed to deliver what matters to our service users, it was important that we involved the children and staff of Rebecca House right from the beginning to consider what a new, fully-inclusive playground might look like which was not only safe and caters to their varying needs, but evoked fun and opportunities for the children to explore and develop through play.”
Vicky Wilson, Head of Children and Therapies said: “Children with disabilities are almost four times less likely to get exercise outside of school than other children, so by creating a recreational space which supports those with mobility difficulties, vision impairments, hearing deficiencies, social anxieties, autism and sensory development delays to enjoy the freedom of a fully-inclusive playground is vitally important*.”
Dylan’s incredible challenge will help us raise much needed funds to develop the inclusive play space which is being designed to include equipment such as a wheelchair-accessible roundabout, helping to remove the restrictive barriers often found in conventional playgrounds.
A metal pod swing will also be installed, which with its deep seat and large surface area promotes safe, social interactions between the children. Its low sturdy frame will also make it easier for the children to get in and out of the swing, creating that sense of independence and achievement.
The playground will feature a rubber ground surface with a springy, plush-quality supportive to any falls and manoeuvring of wheelchairs or patient beds around the space when required.
Children love to play, and Rebecca House are honoured to soon offer a brightly-coloured, sensory-filled, fun, safe and supportive space for the children to just be children, and enjoy themselves free from restrictions.
We are delighted that Dylan who has been attending Rebecca House for over 7 years, is working so hard and courageously to give back to the facility, and fundraise for a cause which means so much to him, the Rebecca House playground.
If you would like to support Dylan on his fundraising challenge, please visit justgiving.com/dylansday