Donna Haynes campaign to get disabled park pays off

Basingstoke Gazette: Donna Haynes with her daughter Chloe on the newly-installed swing for disabled children at Eastrop Park Donna Haynes with her daughter Chloe on the newly-installed swing for disabled children at Eastrop Park

A LITTLE girl left wheelchair-bound after suffering inflammation of the brain, can finally play with her siblings in the park after her mother fought a successful campaign to get special facilities for disabled children.

Donna Haynes presented a 250-signature petition to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council earlier this year, asking for a play park for disabled children to be created in the town.

Her daughter Chloe Deeks was left wheelchair-bound, brain damaged, unable to talk, and has to be fed through a tube, after spending six weeks in Southampton General Hospital with encephalitis in February 2013.

Miss Haynes, 32, from St Patrick’s Road, South Ham, campaigned for the special facilities for her daughter after realising there are no dedicated parks for disabled children in the borough.

Bosses at the borough council listened to her concerns and now a swing for disabled children has been installed at Eastrop Park, as a temporary measure until the petition is fully considered.

Miss Haynes is delighted her three children can finally enjoy playing in the park together. She said: “I’m over the moon. This is just the start. It means Chloe and other disabled children can play in the park this summer.”

Members of the public have rallied round to support Miss Haynes and her family after reading their story in The Gazette in January.

Members of Popley Slimming World raised £200 for the family to have their garden transformed to make it suitable for Chloe to play in.

And members of Basingstoke Lions club sourced materials to use in the garden, while a builder has offered to carry out the work.

Miss Haynes said: “The garden was so uneven, I couldn’t let the children go in it. The Slimming World group raised £200 to put in a garden, and got a builder to do the work for free.

“The community really came together to help out.”

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