Lily, Karen Dennison's daughter

A mother whose daughter suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as Cohen’s syndrome has questioned whether Tamworth’s new play park will be suited to her needs.

Karen Dennison, mother to Lily, said she had to travel to Cannock to take her daughter to a play park because Tamworth does not have any accessible equipment.

Cohen’s syndrome is characterised by developmental delay, intellectual disability, small head size and weak muscle tone. This inherited disorder affects different parts of the body, meaning that simple activities like going to a play park can be hard if the equipment is not suitable.

AUDIO: Karen Dennison speaks out about why she has stopped going to play parks in Tamworth. 

Karen said: “She would get frustrated because there was no equipment there for her to access.

“She couldn’t go on the slide or the swings because she couldn’t balance on them.

“I think having such a big special needs school in the area, we haven’t got anywhere to take our children.

“I think the council should make sure it’s accessible for everybody.”

With Tamworth Borough Council’s capital funding of £375,000 granted in 2020, this play park renovation is said to be suitable for all ages and abilities.

Richard Kingstone, a Tamworth councillor, says the new play park will be more suited to modern-day standards.

“It will be compliant with the latest disabled-access legislation.

“The play park will have full access to the facilities but not everybody will be able to use every piece of equipment.

“It will be much better designed and meet modern day standards.

“It will be money well spent.”

The new play park is aimed at three age groups: toddlers, children aged three to six and a slightly older age group of seven to 14.

The plans will also include improvements to the access gates and external fencing and lighting.

Work has started to relocate an outdoor gym. The play park should be ready for summer 2021.