Lead Organisation: STAND North Wales CIC
Parents and professionals living in Denbighshire and supported by STAND North Wales CIC were asked to explore their local area within Denbighshire and audit as many play spaces as they could identify and were able to access during the audit period. The purpose of the audit was to investigate whether play spaces in Denbighshire are designed in such a way that support inclusive play for children and young people of all ages and abilities.
The audit period was open from 24th February 2022 until 20th May 2022. During this period, they collected 36 responses. Responses were gathered from a mix of parents and professionals. The audit was designed to include all play spaces within Denbighshire, whether they are owned by the council, housing association or privately. Of the 36 audits conducted, 22 of these were for playgrounds and play areas owned by Denbighshire County Council, according to the list of play areas available on their website.
The audit had questions on accessibility including closeness to public transport routes, and different conditions which might impact access to the sites for families using mobility aids. They were asked questions on safety and availability of information about the play space. They were also asked about the proximity of facilities in relation to the play spaces including benches, restrooms, and refreshments.
They were also asked questions about sensory engagement and a range of different play style opportunities. Inclusive and accessible play spaces should encourage sensory engagement within the play space and should offer opportunities for individuals to engage in a range of different play styles.
In conclusion, of the Denbighshire Play Spaces visited and audited by STAND North Wales CIC’s parent focus group, and those audited by the Denbighshire County Council Accessible Play Co-Ordination team, we found that not a single play space would be considered fully accessible and inclusive for children, young people or adults with additional needs and disabilities. Whilst some of the play spaces were better equipped than others, not a single site that was audited contained a fully accessible and inclusive experience for site visitors.
STAND North Wales created recommendations for Denbighshire County Council, local councils, local authorities, housing developments, and Welsh Government to help make Play Spaces more accessible, inclusive and suitable for all.