7 September 2022

Dornan engineers Josh’s new playground

When Dornan was asked to take part in a Children in Need project in London – along with Mace – to complete a unique playground project, our team jumped at the chance to help. The project was designed primarily for Josh, a 9-year-old with Norrie Disease, meaning he is profoundly blind, with no light perception at all. Josh attends the John Ball School in Blackheath and the objective was to enable him to enjoy the same playground his classmates use. Tactile paving was used to help him get around an installation that other children could enjoy as well, with multiple meeting points around the space so that Josh can find his friends. The design included 15 speakers activated by pressure pads to give Josh navigational help. The concept was developed into a practical solution by our project team, working in conjunction with Ruby Steel and Jude Pullen, a design team from LEGO.

We contributed by installing the ELV and LV cabling to all pressure pads, speakers and control panels through a duct system, aswell as the speakers and amplifiers themselves, and testing and commissioning the system.

As this was a Children in Need project due to be covered and aired by the BBC, the deadline was tight, but we completed the project within three weeks of the initial concept meeting. The playground was opened on Tuesday October 7th to the delight of Josh, his parents and classmates, and then broadcast on BBC2 on November 8th.

Our management team on the project was James Ryan and Niall Martin, with Josh Kamara and Chris Hammer helping out on the installation. They all had to work within the constraints of school opening hours and current project commitments. All were delighted to be involved.

The BBC feature can be seen here on Youtube 

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