Parents form charity for a play centre

Members of Play Sense, their children and mayor Kim Forward
Members of Play Sense, their children and mayor Kim Forward

A GROUP of parents have banded together to form their own charity with the aim of setting up a play centre for disabled children.

Play Sense said facilities for such youngsters were non-existent in the town and somewhere is urgently needed for children with disabilities and their siblings to play together under one roof.

Jo Lyons, secretary of Play Sense, said: “For parents and carers of children with physical and learning disabilities, finding somewhere everybody can go together, which is accessible with the right equipment and facilities is almost impossible.

“We are a newly registered community-based charity which has the vision of a play centre for children with disabilities who can have fun in a safe, stimulating environment.”

Hastings MP Amber Rudd gave her backing to the project. She said: “I am a keen supporter of the determined and dedicated people who make up Play Sense. They are absolutely right that we need an inclusive play centre for families to enjoy together in Hastings. We must make sure that we all pull together to make this happen.”

The new play centre would include a sensory room, soft play area, cafe area and a chill-out zone, to provide families with an relaxing area in which to socialise.

Facilities would exist for young people to play pool or use gaming equipment, as well as fully accessible toilet facilities, hoist and a changing bench.

Mayor Kim Forward said: “There is a real need in our town for an indoor space where disabled and able-bodied youngsters can interact and have fun using equipment suited to their specific needs.”

She added: “The vision of our children being able to play together in a safe, stimulating environment is moving closer to reality and I urge everyone to help in whatever way they can to make this happen.”

Play Sense is looking for suitable premises and funding. It will be holding fundraising activities, including a charity auction later this year. The charity is holding an awareness day in Priory Meadow on Friday, April 15.

It can also be contacted on 07517 697735, or email For more information log onto