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New buggy helps disabled in park

PUBLISHED: 16:00 17 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:57 03 March 2010

A NEW seven-passenger electronic buggy designed to make Christchurch Park more accessible to the elderly and the disabled was launched today.

The ParkMobile is the flagship project of Friends of Christchurch Park and has been funded through a £20,000 capital grant from Ipswich Council and a donation of £1,000 towards the start-up costs from Inga Lockington's locality budget from the county council.

A NEW seven-passenger electronic buggy designed to make Christchurch Park more accessible to the elderly and disabled was launched today.

The ParkMobile is the flagship project of Friends of Christchurch Park and has been funded through a £20,000 capital grant from Ipswich Council and a donation of £1,000 towards the start-up costs from Inga Lockington's locality budget from the county council.

The buggy is the brainchild of Friends of Christchurch Park committee member, Shirley Sadler, who came up with the idea after pushing her mother through the park.

She said: "It has taken three years of hard work to get here. I used to push my mother around the park and could see how much pleasure she got from getting out and seeing the flowers."

"I thought that it was a shame that some of her friends did not have the same opportunity. The park is very hilly and it is very hard work to push people up the hills so this buggy will give people the opportunity to go out and enjoy themselves."

Local celebrity Peggy Cole, launched the ParkMobile. She said: "There should be more buggies like this. Ipswich may start a trend because even for half an hour this will bring a lot of pleasure."

Ipswich mayor Richard Risebrow, said: "I believe that Christchurch Park is the jewel in the crown of Ipswich and the borough council have been pleased to lend our support to this project."

The project was co-ordinated in co-operation with representatives from Norwood, Bethesda, Anglesea Heights, Thornbank and Ormonde residential homes, who are managing the use of the ParkMobile. Each of the homes has nominated someone to be trained as a driver.

Chairman of Friends of Christchurch Park, Reg Driver, said: "The responses we had from councils in giving us the grant and from the residential homes and organisations wishing to use ParkMobile have been enthusiastic. We are delighted to see this project come to fruition."

The buggy is available to be booked for morning and afternoon sessions at a cost of £12, which covers running costs.

Any groups who would like to use the ParkMobile, or is interested in joining the Friends, should call 01473 255245.


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