The Joshua Tree, a Cheshire-based children’s cancer charity dedicated to working closely with families affected by childhood cancers, contacted Sutcliffe Play in 2017 with the desire to build a playground alongside a brand-new state-of-the-art support centre.
The design for the Support Centre play area was required to provide friendly play for children recovering from cancer and their siblings when attending the centre, allowing both therapeutic developmental play and general play. It was important that there was a range of equipment for different ages and abilities to ensure inclusivity, as well as space to allow the children to join in with outside group games and activities.
Sutcliffe Play worked alongside a project team at The Joshua Tree over a three-year period to bring the project to fruition and to ensure the exact project requirements were met. The final play area provides an immersive environment with stimulating sensory activities at every turn to engage children in the environment around them.
To encourage social and physical play, and to develop coordination, a large trampoline sits among the bound rubber mulch floor which can accommodate two children bouncing in unison.
A sensory flower and music pipes offer sound and optical dimensions to the play area, with the brightly coloured flower incorporating a spiral design which creates an optical illusion as it rotates. Adding an element of challenge to the play area is a jungle bridge and inclined balance walk from the Sutcliffe Play Trim Trail range. These are designed to provide balancing and traversing activities while appealing to children’s sense of adventure and imaginative play.
Benches, white boards, toadstool stepping logs and a play stage complete the outdoor area, creating a bright and fun atmosphere which can be enjoyed by the whole family.
The project was completed over the course of a three-year period during which Sutcliffe Play worked closely with the client to ensure the exact project requirements were met. Therapeutic play is one of the many support services offered at The Joshua Tree, and the play area has created a vital resource in aiding the physical and mental wellbeing of children and their families during an incredibly traumatic time.
"We wanted to create an exciting, safe and accessible play area for children of all ages and abilities – a requirement which has undoubtedly been met. Sutcliffe Play understood our requirements perfectly and in doing so, created a fun and immersive environment away from the outside world which will benefit children and their families for many years to come."
Rachael Birdsey– Family Support Manager – The Joshua Tree