Rosella kids discover new source of freedom
LITTLE Shontae Denniss may not be able to walk or run around, but she can enjoy the freedom of Rosella Park School's brand new swing.
The six-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, is one of many children with special needs who will benefit from the specially designed Soft Top Platform Swing, worth $10,000.
It was donated by Variety, with part of the funds raised by the 2014 Sequins and Suits Variety Gala Ball in May as well as three individual donors.
The swing was unveiled at a special presentation on Thursday, a much-needed learning tool to the popular soft play room.
Shontae's mother, Michelle Denniss, matched her daughter's happiness, appreciative of the support the family and the school has received from the community.
"She loves it. It would be nice to have one at home," Ms Denniss said.
"It gives her the freedom of being out of her chair. She can't crawl or walk at all.
"It's good for their balance and therapy."
Shontae suffers from Rett Syndrome, a neurodevelopmenal disorder which affects brain functions.
Rosella Park School principal Kate Russ said to give children such as Shontae a fun piece of equipment that also helps with balance, social confidence, strength and sensory awareness was a big deal.
"It enables students to have that freedom in their belly as you get that height and momentum on a swing," she said.
"But it improves your core stability and achieves therapy goals.
"It's unbelievable to see the joy on their faces. There will be years and years of goal achievement, but also fun with the swing."
The swing, which cost $1000 per structural piece, was imported from America and is able to be used by students of any age.
Variety regional development manager Carly Quinn said it was satisfying to see the children enjoying a new toy.
"We recognised six years ago that kids needed to experience the joy of flight," she said.
"My favourite part of the job is seeing results of all the efforts. There's nothing more rewarding than seeing a child smile."