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Park spaces made available for SEND youngsters

You may have read in our recent newsletter, the plan for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to be given their own park areas in Brighton and Hove to allow them to play in peace and safety.

We are pleased to confirm that Amaze teamed up with PaCC and the council to identify a section in each of three city parks for SEND youngsters and their families and from this Monday (3 August) until further notice, for two hours every morning between 10am and 12 noon, they will have priority access to the following areas:

  • The scented garden in St Ann’s Well Gardens
  • The Secret Garden in East Hill Park
  • The ball court area in East Brighton Park (off Warren Road)

Although other park users will be able to access the areas, it is hoped people will take notice of the signage now up and allow the children and young people with SEND and their families to enjoy the spaces uninterrupted.

Councillor Amy Heley, joint chair of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee, said: “I’m really pleased we’ve been working with Amaze and PaCC to identify these three parks and the areas that can be used for SEND children and young people and their families.”

There are people who use these areas, including fitness instructors, but the hope is they can find another part of the park to carry out their sessions.

Cllr Healy added: “We very much hope people will realise why we’re doing this and give the families exclusive access to the areas. So often it’s really difficult for SEND children to play safely and uninterrupted by other park users. But now, for two hours a day they will be able to enjoy freedom, fun and relaxation together as a group.”

Fiona England, chair of the PaCC, said: “Many children and young people with SEND have had less access to outdoors spaces during lockdown than other families because their health and other additional needs mean they can’t safely go to their usual, local parks and social distancing is sometimes a challenge. We really welcome the council’s support and leadership on setting up these exclusive areas in these parks and we hope that many SEND families will feel more able to come outside and play safely with their children over the summer holidays.”

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