Temporary play space for children with special needs looking for funding to open permanent home

  • Watch Caron Bell's report from Patchway

A charity that runs a pop-up play centre for children who struggle to use regular play facilities is trying to raise millions of pounds to build a permanent centre.

Gympanzees runs fully accessible play sessions during the summer at a special needs school in Patchway.

The sessions include making music, playing games and hanging out in the sensory zone.

Classes like this are rare and they bring in people from as far as Cornwall to take part.

Gympanzees want to be able to run sessions all year round. They are trying to raise millions of pounds to try and build a permanent home.

For parents who have children with special needs going to parks and soft play areas can be tough and in some cases overwhelming.

Mother Jennifer Royds said: "I've never been somewhere like this, which is so incredible and geared to the needs of our family. Going to a soft play environment is really difficult for us."

Gympanzees founder and CEO Stephanie Wheen said: "We want to open the UK's first fully inclusive play and experience centre for children and young people with disabilities. There are currently 65,000 children and young people within an hour of Bristol and around 75% have nowhere to go for play and exercise".

Gympanzees think that the pop-up sessions have proved that there is a need there to provide sessions all year round they now have to persuade the companies and public to help them raise the necessary funds.