Thursday, 27 April 2017
School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Porirua City Council and Rotary Plimmerton and Plimmerton Inner Wheel Club join hands to make parks in Porirua accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
The PARCS (Parks for Activity and Recreation in the Community Study) team led by CHARR researcher Dr Meredith Perry, School of Physiotherapy, University of Otago, Wellington have developed an evaluation tool to assess the accessibility and usability of parks and playgrounds. In 2016, a pilot evaluation was completed in 21 randomly selected parks affiliated to Wellington, Hutt City and Porirua City Councils.
In an effort to make all the parks accessible, the Porirua City Council as part of Playable Porirua initiative along with PARCS team have recently organized a training workshop for a group of volunteers from Rotary Plimmerton and Plimmerton Inner Wheel Club. This was held at the Helen Smith Room, Pataka, Porirua on April 17, 2017.
Rotary Plimmerton and Plimmerton Inner Wheel Club is in support of this research initiative to make parks accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Led by CHARR researcher Dr Meredith Perry, along with Dr Hemakumar Devan, conducted a 2-hour practical workshop on using the PARC’s evaluation tool for the volunteers. An onsite evaluation was also conducted at the Hukatai Street Playground in Porirua as part of the workshop.
The Rotary Plimmerton and Inner Wheel Plimmerton volunteers will complete the evaluations of all the parks in Porirua using the PARC’s tool in the next few months to identify and make recommendations for improving accessibility and usability of parks and playgrounds in Porirua.
PARCS team in collaboration with Porirua City Council are in the process of applying for research grants to develop accessible and usable park resources using a participatory action research (PAR) methodology.