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Variety Launch Special Wheelchair Swing Programme

Variety Launch Special Wheelchair Swing Programme In Auckland

Variety – The Children’s Charity launched a special wheelchair swing programme in Auckland Yesterday. Variety Liberty Swings are designed for use by children confined to a wheelchair. The swing gives these children the opportunity to experience the thrill of a playground swing without the need to leave their wheelchairs.

Variety –The Children’s Charity Chief Executive, Elisa Willman, said that the nation-wide programme aims to install a Variety Liberty Swing in every local authority area in New Zealand.

“The Swings will be placed in prominent positions in popular parks, gardens and children’s play areas,” said Willman. “Children respond incredibly well to the freedom of being in a swing. Sometimes it is a completely new experience for them. We hope that Variety Liberty Swings will soon be a familiar sight in playgrounds around New Zealand.”

The Variety Liberty Swing Programme will be rolled out nationally throughout 2005. Working closely with local City Councils, eleven regions have been identified as the first to receive a Variety Liberty Swing and the most appropriate accessible sites in each area are currently being identified. These Councils are currently considering the installation and maintenance of the Variety Liberty Swing:

Whangarei, North Shore City, Auckland, Hamilton, Taupo, Hastings, New Plymouth, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Variety Liberty Swings in these areas will be installed and opened between March and May, 2005. Funds for these swings will be raised through Variety’s national Gold Heart Appeal in February, 2005 and through partnership with the Trillian Trust.

Ongoing fundraising will allow Variety to continue to develop the Variety Liberty Swing programme throughout New Zealand.

The Australian-designed Devine Liberty Swing was developed over 13 years to accommodate people who use wheelchairs (including sports and electric wheelchairs) and those with other impairments (such as limited use of their arms).

Wheelchairs can be reversed into the swing on a custom-built ramp and locked into place. Those who do not use a wheelchair can sit on a seat while secured by a seatbelt device. The swing is constructed from heavy-duty plastic with an internal steel structure which can support up to 250kg.

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