A slide for Teagan
Posted 25 May 2018 in Stories
7-year-old Teagan has a rare chromosome disorder. She has difficulty balancing and walking, and for her mother, Emma, looking after Teagan is a stressful and time-consuming job.
Emma thought that some playground equipment would help Teagan to build her balance and confidence, whilst giving her an enjoyable activity. However, because Teagan has such difficulty moving around, she is not able to use a conventional slide safely and independently.
Remap engineer Dennis Jewitt took on the challenge of designing and making a slide which Teagan could play with on her own. Dennis said, “It took 6 months but the look on Teagan’s face when she first used the slide made it all worthwhile.”
It took quite a while (and several attempts) to come up with a low-cost design that would be strong, fit for purpose, and look reasonable. The usual ladder needed to be replaced with a special ramp and sturdy banisters so Teagan could climb safely to the top. Then a supplier of high quality polished stainless steel needed to be found when it was realised that Teagan couldn’t hold her head steady enough to cope with the wavy plastic slide originally proposed.
Eventually the components were sourced, and over the course of a weekend, with help from other Remap volunteers, the structure was transported 50 miles from Sevenoaks (where all the materials were assembled) to Teagan’s home in Aylesham, near Canterbury.
Volunteers from Bruderhof helped to concrete in the posts (they needed to be 80 cm underground to hold the heavy steel structure) and finally, after 6 months, the slide was finished.
Emma said, “Teagan is on the slide every evening after school. She loves it. It helps her balance and her mobility. It’s a brilliant job. Remap has been a god-send to us”.