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Sunderland woman wins fight for accessible swing in her local park for her nephew with muscular dystrophy UK News

The aunt of a boy with a rare muscle wasting disease has won a battle to see a wheelchair accessible swing at her local park.

Angela Turnbull has been campaigning for nearly a year to see the swing installed at Hylton Castle play park, Sunderland, with work due to start on Monday.

Her nephew Will lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare condition that primarily affects men, causing progressive muscle weakness and deterioration. Barely nine years old, the youngster has to use a wheelchair.

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Angela, project manager for Newcastle Hospitals Foundation Trust, said: “It is so important that all children can enjoy public playgrounds and it will make me so happy to see Will enjoying something like this in a wheelchair. It’s a huge achievement.

“There are plenty of other kids with reduced mobility who will also be able to use this amazing piece of equipment and that puts a smile on my face. I hope to bring Will in on opening day.”

Will’s mum, Caroline Calvert, added: ‘As the parent of a child suffering from muscle wasting, he is very sad not to be able to join his peers. We are so happy and grateful that this means William can feel included in his local community, playing with his friends and family.

Angela has spent most of the year in regular conversation with local councilors and council as well. She managed to get buy-in with the support of a local councilor early in the process.

Susanne Driffield, Regional Development Manager for the North of England and East Midlands at Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: “What Angela has achieved is fantastic and will make a huge difference to local families.

“The whole family is so passionate about everything they do, and we are grateful for their continued support of the charity.”

Angela and her family have supported the Muscular Dystrophy UK charity since Will was young. His next mission is to have accessible beach wheelchairs installed at Roker Beach.

You can read more about Will’s story here.

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