Designed and built to specifically meet the needs of Ysgol Ty Coch’s pupils who experience complex, severe and profound learning disabilities, the bespoke and wheelchair-accessible outdoor play area was officially opened on Friday 17 May when the school was joined by local Paralympian Sarah Head (pictured below) and Mick Antoniw, Assembly Member, to celebrate the completion of the project and the fantastic new outdoor facilities for the children.
Newly installed in the transformed play area are a wheelchair-accessible swing, roundabout and safety flooring, in addition to creating a stunning and safe surrounding environment.
The school, which is a maintained special school for children aged 3-19 in Rhondda Cynon Taf, provides a caring, stimulating and challenging environment to help pupils achieve their full potential.
The local Gallagher team, from our offices in Cardiff and Llantrisant, secured the £25,000 donation for the school earlier this year, as part of our Making A Difference charity awards programme. The team were able to wow the judging panel by demonstrating the significant impact that the donation would make to the school, the sustainability of the impact and the creative ways in which the Gallagher team would build on their existing partnership with the school.
David Jenkins, Headteacher at Ysgol Ty Coch, said: “We are extremely grateful to Gallagher for its incredible generosity in funding this renovation project. The new playground will transform the way our pupils use the outdoor space and go a long way to ensuring that the school is a fun environment to be in, creating a place where all our children feel comfortable, welcome and happy.
“At Ysgol Ty Coch, we strive to provide high quality learning environments for our pupils, and want to give every child the same opportunity to get involved and enjoy play, as they really benefit from learning in an outdoor setting. We’re all so excited to start using the new equipment.”
Special guest and local Paralympian Sarah Head added: "It's incredible to see the new playground facilities. To see what they truly mean to the children and their families
is priceless. To experience the exhilaration that they have when they get to use the equipment was a dream. I may have been to two Paralympics but today I experienced something I never thought I would ever achieve — and that's using a wheelchair accessible swing.
“That memory will stay with me forever and my smile certainly will. What a difference it will make to these children's lives and everyone who visits. Well done to everyone involved.”
Mike Jones, Regional Managing Director at Gallagher, said: “Working in close partnership with Ysgol Ty Coch has been a wonderful experience. The school thoroughly deserves this new equipment which is vital for children with learning difficulties to enrich their everyday play experiences.
At Gallagher, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we serve, so being able to make such a valuable impact at Ysgol Ty Coch has been a real privilege. We hope that the staff and pupils will enjoy the new playground for many years to come.”
The Friends of Ty Coch was established in September 2015 as the school’s registered charity with the sole aim to raise money via a range of creative means to support the work of the school.