Remember how much fun you had as a child visiting the local playground? The exhilaration of playing on a swing is something that most children enjoy, and nearly all take for granted. For those in a wheelchair, the simple pleasure of swinging through the air was never an option until Wayne Devine invented the Wheelchair Swing.
The Liberty Swing gives wheelchair bound children an opportunity to break free from the regular constraints of their wheelchair and fly through the air feeling the wind against their faces, just like their able bodied friends.
Physiotherapist Catherina Narbett from the Disability Services Commission also believes the wheelchair swing is a “fabulous therapeutic tool.”
Variety has provided funding for over 40 swings across Victoria, however for every one provided there is a request for two more.
Swing gives Scott Liberty
Whilst we provide equipment and services to children under the age of 18, our public programs are often accessed by all members of a community. We recently received this letter from Donna who discovered our Liberty Swing.
"My brother Scott turns 31 this October. He has severe cerebral palsy, but is still one of the happiest people I have had the privilege to know. My whole family would agree that he is a great influence on how we have all turned out as human beings.
I started working at Maroondah Council in the Customer Service area, 4 weeks ago, and whilst researching my role on the Maroondah Council website, I came across the Liberty Swing information.
I immediately wanted to find out how I could use this swing for my brother. Turns out you can buy a $10 key, and this makes all Liberty Swings in the state of Victoria accessible, including the swing at Ringwood Lake.
Even though I have had a disabled brother for over 30 years, our family never knew these swings existed, and mum was very excited at the possibility of taking Scott on one.
I bought the key on Friday, and the very next day, on Saturday 22nd August 2009, my mum and I took my brother Scott to Ringwood Lake and he used the Liberty Swing for the very first time.
You can see by the photos the joy and excitement in his face. He was laughing and happy the whole way there, and then when we put him on the swing, and strapped him in safely with the seat belt, away he went! Words cannot express how wonderful it was to see him so happy.
I want to thank Maroondah Council and Variety Australia for the Liberty Swing, as now we know about it, we will regularly visit Ringwood Lake, and other venues which have the swing, because it gave my brother the freedom and joy that any other child or grown person would feel when swinging.
I also wanted to write, because I want to make other disabled people, and their carers more aware of this wonderful opportunity to have some fun for someone confined to wheelchair. It would be great if you could publish this so that others in the community could see what a great way this is for people with disabilities to have a good time.
We never knew the Liberty Swing existed, and now we do, we will use it on a regular basis!
Thank you so much."
From Donna, Scott and his mum Mary