Contact – Together at 40 Awards
Hayley Wedgbury – winner of the Parent Power Award
Hayley was nominated by Nandini Ganesh for successfully campaigning and raising money for wheelchair-accessible swings in her local parks. Hayley’s daughter Mia, aged 12, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis. Mia is often in and out of hospital. Nandini gave praise to Hayley’s dedication “Through Hayley’s grit and determination she has left a lasting legacy for disabled children, who can now join in with other children having fun in their local parks.”
Hayley says “Mia loves to play and interact with other children, so it was pretty disheartening walking through the parks at the weekend and during school holidays unable to join in, being on the side-lines watching other children play. I decided to join the local Parent Carer Forum, Parentsactive, who put me in touch with the council’s parks team. The council agreed to match-fund whatever money I could raise. I set about crowd funding and raised an incredible 22k, which includes contributions from my GP practice – Park Medical Centre, Dr Elise Aitchison who ran the marathon in Valencia for the cause, and Parentsactive who successfully bid for a grant from the Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.”
Contact – Together at 40 Awards
Parentsactive – nominee in the category of Excellence in Parent Carer Participation
Contact’s Together at 40 Awards are a celebration of the countless and often unrecognised achievements of families with disabled children up and down the country.
For local parent carer forums who have gone that extra mile to champion partnership work and co-production with local councils or health services. Parentsactive were nominated in the ‘Excellence in Parent Carer Participation’ category by our local authority Hammersmith and Fulham.
Hammersmith and Fulham Civic Awards
Nandini Ganesh – Outstanding Contribution to the Life of the Borough nominee
Nandini Ganesh was nominated for “Outstanding Contribution to the Life of the Borough” at the inaugural Hammersmith and Fulham civic awards on March 1st 2018. Nandini has been coordinating Parentsactive for the past 11 years, having joined the organisation HF Mencap in October 2007. She has campaigned tirelessly for parents of disabled children in Hammersmith and Fulham and has encouraged parents to participate in improving services for their disabled children.
Council and local mum help open disability friendly playground
Hammersmith & Fulham Council opened its first disability-friendly playground thanks to a campaign run by a devoted local mother.
Hammersmith mum Hayley Wedgbury raised £7,000 for a wheel-chair accessible swing for her nine-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy, Mia, and other children who use Wormholt Park.
The sum was matched by H&F Council who have also installed a wheelchair accessible roundabout and trampoline, as well as equipment for children with sensory impairments.
“Disabled children should be able to enjoy playgrounds and feel as part of the community as every other child,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
“I’m delighted we could help fulfil Hayley’s and Mia’s wish to create an inclusive playground for every local family in need of one. The passion she has for improving the life of her daughter and those of other disabled children is a real inspiration.”
The new play area is part of a huge £1million overhaul of Wormholt Park, funded by a local developer. It includes a new adventure playground, planting, footpaths, a refurbished ball court and other improvements.
Hayley also campaigned and along with Parentsactive successfully fundraised through Tesco Bag of Life £12,000 for a Disabled swing in Ravenscourt Park in June 2017.
Changing Places Toilet at Chelsea and Westminster
Gina Gerrard and Hayley Wedgbury
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has an innovative new changing and toilet facility. It is for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, who have profound and multiple learning disabilities, or who have other disabilities which severely limit mobility such as muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
The ‘Changing Places’ facility, which is different to a standard or accessible toilet, includes an extra wide, height adjustable changing bench, shower facilities and a Liko hoist system. Access is via the RADAR key system.
This facility is the first of its kind in an acute trust in London and is available to any patient, visitor or member of the public who needs to use it.
The Mayor and Mayoress of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) officially opened the Changing Places facility during a visit on 10 December 2015.
Kathryn Mangold (Lead Nurse for Learning Disabilities and Transition) said: “This is a great facility and is really important to ensure we continue to do our best to provide the highest standard of service and access for all our patients.”
Mothers Hayley and Gina, who helped champion the facility, said: “We are really grateful to the Trust for taking on our concerns over the lack of accessible changing facilities for our daughters, Alice and Mia, both of whom have very complex physical needs. It will make such a difference to our visits to the hospital and we hope that this state-of-the-art, wonderful changing place will be the forerunner of many more such accessible facilities across other acute hospital trusts.”
Residents and council team up to relocate wheelchair-friendly roundabout
A wheelchair-friendly roundabout has officially opened in Ravenscourt Park after residents and the council teamed up to raise money.
Members of Parentsactive, part of HF Mencap and Ravenscourt Park Preparatory School joined forces to raise £5,000, which was matched by Hammersmith & Fulham Council, to give the roundabout an accessible home and new lease of life.
Residents’ fundraising efforts, led by Parentsactive member Mary Melsom, included carol singing and a summer fair.
“Every child deserves the chance to play, so we thank Mary Melsom and everyone else involved in making this project a success,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, H&F Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion.
When the Haven Centre in Askam Road was closed for development the play equipment on site was no longer required and it was suggested their wheelchair-accessible roundabout could be refurbished and relocated.
The roundabout was relocated to Ravenscourt Park in summer 2014 and then given a full refurbishment, including signage and an accessible path was also constructed.