Young Harry’s family welcome new play area design

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The design of the new play area coming to Daventry Country Park has been praised for its accessibility by the family of a little boy with cerebral palsy.

Harry Charlesworth was left with significant brain damage after suffering a number of strokes before he was born, leaving him with severe physical and mental disabilities.

His six-year-old sister Lily loves play areas, but the family say there are very few parks locally that offer suitable access for Harry, and very few items of equipment he can use, making it difficult for them to visit together.

That’s why the family, from Newnham, were pleased when they saw the designs for the new play area coming to Daventry Country Park this spring.


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Designed to cater for a wide range of abilities, the playground will offer a gradual mound leading up to a big castle unit offering a range of inclusive activities. 

It will also include sensory equipment including a Glockenspiel play panel and talk tubes, plus swings with inclusive seats with harnesses for children who have a limited ability to hold themselves upright, and a basket swing.

Work on the new play area – which was chosen with the help of a public vote – got underway at the end of February in preparation for an opening around Easter time. It is the first stage of a number of improvements planned at the park over the next year, including resurfaced paths and walkways to further improve accessibility.

Harry’s mum Hayley Charlesworth said: “We’re thrilled to see some play equipment that Harry can use, its lovely to be able to go to the park as a family and not feel like he is left out.”

Councillor Alan Hills, Portfolio Holder for Community, Culture and Leisure at Daventry District Council, said: “The Park is here for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy, so it’s important we continue to improve and enhance it for everyone.  

“Accessibility was a major consideration for us when choosing the design of the new play area, so I’m very pleased to hear it will benefit Harry and his family. I very much hope the family and our thousands of other visitors will enjoy the new playground once it is complete.” 

Harry’s family set up the Helping Harry Trust to help give the little boy the specialist treatment, care and support he needs to have the best life possible. To find out more please visit www.thehelpingharrytrust.com or find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/thehelpingharrytrust 

For updates on the improvements being made at Daventry Country Park, please visit www.facebook.com/daventrycountrypark