New playground at Peter Pan Centre will help more children with special needs to gain specialist play support

More families are to benefit from services at the Peter Pan Centre thanks to generous donations from the North Staffordshire charity’s supporters.

Around £50,000 has been raised to create a new playground at the Wolstanton-based centre for children with special needs, which provides facilities and education for children from birth to five-years-old.

Chief Executive Catherine Cook said: “The new playground will allow us to open at weekends and provide social activities for more families. Demand for a place at our Centre outstrips supply and there are currently 62 children on our waiting list; the highest in our history.

“These children will be welcomed along to use our new playground, together with  children who currently attend our centre-based sessions.”

Generous donations have come from organisations including, the Denise Coates Foundation, the Olwen McPherson Trust,  the Bernard Sunley Foundation, the William Dean Countryside & Educational Trust, the Foyle Foundation, the Boshier Hinton Foundation, the Percy Bilton Charity, and local business Sandyford Properties Ltd.

Catherine said: “As services have developed at Peter Pan, together with the skills and experience of our team, we have attracted more high needs children than ever before and it’s essential to continually assess and upgrade facilities. A more specialist play area will bring great benefits.”

Work begins next week (6 March 2023).

Explaining the benefits, Catherine said: “We plan to replace the concrete floor with new safety surfacing and install equipment including a specially designed roundabout, suitable for children of all abilities, a climb through tunnel hill for crawling, climbing and stepping practice, a giant playhouse, a swing and a play tower.

“These facilities will support our children in various ways, including  sensory regulation, core muscle stability and balance. High quality facilities will also help to teach children to socialise and develop cooperation skills.

  “We’ve been able to win support from national and regional organisations for this vital project. Right now, all charities are working in a challenging fundraising environment and such generosity is vital in giving our young people at the Peter Pan Centre the facilities needed to help them to develop and thrive.

“Our team is constantly researching ways to update and improve facilities at the centre.”

Linda Albutt, a Trustee of the Olwen McPherson Trust, an organisation with a focus on supporting children with disabilities, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to support this amazing project and to know that it will make so many young lives a little more joyful”. ENDS

For media enquiries contact Nigel Howle. Telephone 0776 2043436, email [email protected]

With pic: Members of the Peter Pan Centre Early Years team at the playground site. Left to right, Alice Holford, Michelle Hollins, Terresa Crabb, Laura Haslam, Jason Bird.