Plans are well underway to build a environmentally friendly family centre for youngsters with disabilities in Lydiard Park to be run by the charity Hop, Skip and Jump.
The facility would be open six days a week for visits from special needs groups and schools, and for families to drop in. There would be after-school sessions on some evenings, a Saturday club and care in the school holidays.
Hop, Skip and Jump is well established in Bristol and Cheltenham and has been discussing a centre at Lydiard Park with Swindon Council for two years.
The site is on the edge of the car park, opposite the visitor centre.
Councillor Garry Perkins, lead member for children’s services, has been closely involved in the project. “I’m delighted with the progress of the project. Hop, Skip and Jump provide superb facilities and will make a valuable contribution to families and young adults with disabilities. It will be a safe place for children who have specific needs.”
Council architects Nic Newland and Tony Currivan drew up plans to show the location in the park and were then asked by representatives from Hop Skip and Jump to design the building.
They are proposing a large log cabin, complete with a sedum roof and energy saving devices. It will house soft play and sensory rooms, a ball pit and meeting spaces for parents. There will also be special needs’ play equipment outdoors and dedicated car parking.
“Because this is for a charity, Tony and I have put a lot of our own time into the building because it’s worth doing,” said Nic. “It’s more than just another project.”
See the plans on 3 July
The design for the Hop Skip and Jump centre is on show now at the Lydiard Park visitor centre and on Friday 3 July, 1pm to 4.30pm council officers, Hop Skip and Jump trustees and parent representatives will be available to discuss the project in the visitor centre.