First Sunday Club: A Liberty Swing for Macgregor State School
At the moment I’m living with a small dictator with bad table manners. You’re thinking I’ve shacked up with George Calombaris, aren’t you? No, no. Rather Ava is channelling her inner-Napoleon when it comes to letting me know what she wants. Like cheese sticks. And her tea party set. And Chewie – whom she now chases around the house in a Benny Hill like fashion. Some days he wears a haunted expression and is often forced to seek asylum in my wardrobe. Next to me.
The answer to all this is to take Ava to the park. A good old-fashioned swing can soothe even the crankiest mood. And while some friends of mine will do anything to avoid the monotony of playgrounds (I think I just saw Big Bird in that 7-Eleven, let’s go!) – I don’t mind it. There’s something about stretching your legs out and sailing skyward that is good for the soul.
Which is precisely why I’ve chosen the project I have for this month’s First Sunday Club. This month we’re putting our ten dollars towards a Liberty Swing for the children who attend Macgregor State Primary School’s Special Education Program.
The Special Education Program has an enrolment of about 50 students from Prep to Year 7 and attracts disabled children from as far away as Minden and Runaway Bay. These kids have a range of disabilities including vision and hearing impairments, Autistic Spectrum disorders and speech language impairments. Approximately 30 of the students have significant physical impairments and many children have complex disabilities requiring use of wheelchairs.
So, let’s talk swings. Just plonking your backside onto a typical swing obviously doesn’t work for many of these kids. So what they need is a special Liberty Swing – an Australian designed and made swing that is especially for kids in wheelchairs but which can also be used by able-bodied children.
Those hardworking people at Variety have committed to delivering 30 Liberty swings each year to playgrounds for kids with special needs. But the swings are expensive and at the moment there’s a $10,000 shortfall in getting a Liberty swing installed at Macgregor School. This is where we come in. I need 1000 readers to donate $10 to help get this swing paid for and installed.
“Over the last twelve months we have borrowed a Liberty swing three times from Variety Club Queensland and the benefits have been highlighted by the enthusiasm of every child involved as they queue for a turn,” Macgregor State School Principal Helen Leben tells me. “The smiles on their faces and the look in their eyes says it all.”
I know that look. The look of freedom and exhilaration I see in Ava’s eyes when she’s sailing up to the clouds.
Can you spare $10 this month?
Donate online at www.varietyqld.org.au or call 07 3367 6999 for mailing address details. (Please don’t send cash or cheques to me directly.)
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.