Shay Kinsella with volunteers and some of the children who will avail of the facility Pictures: Michael Cowhe
CASTLES, slides, trees and princesses are just some of the wonderful things that children in Limerick can expect to see when Dreamland officially opens on November 25.
Dreamland, located beside Aldi on the Dublin Road, is “especially designed as a fully accessible and inclusive film studio for all children to play in, despite their ability or disability,” said founder Shay Kinsella of the Share a Dream Foundation.
It was inspired by the dreams of two children who sadly passed away before Shay was able to grant them their wish of playing on a slide and becoming a princess.
“There’s over 80,000 disabled children in Ireland and in this region there is about 9,000. Those children have never been down a slide, so I thought that something needed to be done for them.
“I decided to build this magical place so that their imagination could run wild. The parents and all of their children will be able to go down a slide together for the first time,” he explained.
After five years of constructing and fundraising, Dreamland will finally open it doors to allow both disabled and able-bodied children to play together in a safe and fun environment.
“It is designed to disguise the parts that are in place for disabled children. For example, some of the ramps are designed to look like parts of the forest so that they don’t feel different from the able-bodied children,” said Mr Kinsella.
The magical venue is now taking bookings for its Ultimate Christmas Wonderland, which will run from November 25 to December 23. Children and their families will be able to meet Santa in the treehouse, the snow queen in the castle of dreams, or Mrs Claus in the sensory room.