All children have a right to play and according to all the experts in this area they learn to live life through Play and it's essential to their all-round emotional and physical well-being especially for children with a disability.
According to the UN Charter Article 31 on children's rights - Any child that has been denied or deprived the right to play have been deprived of their childhood and this is wrong and discriminatory.
Visit any playground or play centre in Ireland and see the total lack of inclusive play opportunities available to disabled children to play in Ireland, it is non-existent. This is heart-breaking for the disabled child, siblings, parent as having a disabled child is a disabled family.
After bringing a little magic something special into the lives of over 20,000 children and their families this last 23yrs the Share a Dream Foundation has identified the real need for a purpose built all inclusive accessible indoor play centre for these children and with the help of the Irish people are going to do something about it.
It will be called Dreamland and will be the first ever fully accessible and all inclusive play centre where no child sick or disabled will feel different and for a short time they will forget their painful treatments, hospitalisations, loneliness, disappointments, fears and trade them in for fun, laughter, friendship, love and sacks full of happy memories with their siblings and friends; a magical place where all children and families will feel welcome.
Dreamland will be designed to reflect a child's idea of a magical place, the kind they only find in books or their wonderful imagination, a real "WOW" factor! Here Play equipment in play areas will not be obviously signed "For Disabled" or a designated space assigned as a disabled corner. Disabled or not the children will all play together just as children do and challenge themselves to the best of their ability. The only requirement in Dreamland will be for all children to have fun and let their imagination run wild!
Dreamland will be built in Limerick because of:
- It's geographical location
- Share a Dream is based in Limerick and have massive support in the Mid-West
Recently Mary Immaculate College have come behind the venture with Dr. Emer Ring, Head of Department of Reflective Pedagogy and Early Childhood Studies and Lisha O'Sullivan, Lecturer Early Childhood Studies engaging in a contemporaneous research project in order to provide advice and support and to ensure that children’s participation in, and benefit from, activities are optimised. The University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology will also be involved in the project.
Research, hospitals, special schools, support services are all vital to these children's well-being and development but the children themselves just want to play if only they can, to the very best of their ability. They need to play because it's the most natural thing in the world for children to do. It is their right and laughter is truly the best medicine.
Will you help us to build Dreamland…?
We know we cannot do this on our own but we also know that Irish people adore children and will help children all over the world and will want to help us correct this terrible wrong and ensure disabled children in the Mid-West and visiting families have somewhere special to play alongside their siblings and friends.
Let's give the Limerick and the Mid-West a good news story by building Dreamland together and get back to what we do best in Ireland reaching out a hand of love and friendship to the less fortunate in our community especially disabled children. Let's give them back their childhood and let them play, which is what all children do best.
It will be unique in Europe with Ireland showing that Irish children are not forgotten when it comes to reaching out a hand of love and friendship to special children all over the world.
We are asking you the Irish people from children to Corporate heads to help us recognise "the right to play" for all children in Ireland by joining Dream Team and help us to build Dreamland.
You can help us to do this by donating, sponsoring, volunteering or organising a fundraising event. Anyone who would like to make an immediate €2 donation to Dreamland can do so by texting "SHARE" to 50300.
To view our Dreamland products and services wishlist and see what you can provide please click here .
If you would like to help or support the project please contact us or email us.
Visit the new Dreamland website here.