Yorda Adventures

Chessington, UK

October 2018

Chessington-based Yorda Adventures, in partnership with children’s charity Merlin’s Magic Wand and a hard working team from Chessington World of Adventures Resort, have created a sensational sensory delight in the form of an adventure playground for local children with severe learning disabilities. Opened this week by the Mayor of Kingston, children and their families using Yorda’s Playhouse are set to benefit year-round from the £25,000 design.

The adventure playground was specifically developed with a range of abilities and needs in mind. Making sure the children could access and utilise the space was at the heart of the design and the bespoke, all-weather, play equipment will ensure all children can enjoy the magic of this exciting outdoor area.

Chessington World of Adventures Resort first worked with Yorda Adventures in 2017 when the Resort held a VIP day for families. This was a great success and cemented a strong partnership between the two organisations.

Simon Burge, Strategic Development Director at the Resort Theme Park, then approached Merlin’s Magic Wand, to apply for a grant to transform the play area of the previous Devon Way Centre, into a purpose built space for the children most vulnerable in the Borough.

On success of the application Simon and his team worked tirelessly to get the project moving quickly. “Chessington World of Adventures has been delighted to contribute to this ‘Magic Space’” said Simon, of the project, “we hope it will make a real difference to the children and families Yorda support. The whole team at the Resort has really pulled together to deliver this transformation.”

Laura Smyth, CEO of Yorda Adventures, said; “Play is a vital part of every child’s life, and we are so excited that Merlin’s Magic Wand has chosen to wave its magic over our Playhouse.

This new Play area has removed barriers to play and access that our children and their families face every day. We are so incredibly grateful to Simon, Mark and their teams for making this happen.

We work with over 200 children/families each year and are delighted that the new play area will be a happy and fun place for our children and their siblings, friends and wider community to enjoy year after year”

Emily Griffiths, Communications, Fundraising and Engagement Manager at Merlin’s Magic Wand, said “It is such an honour to be able to work with organisations like Yorda and have such an impact to the children in the local community. We strive to create magical memories and make it possible for all children to access the magic of Merlin. With the Magic Spaces Projects we come a step closer to our goal. Creating SMILES, GIGGLES and LAUGHS all around the world.”


About us

The Charity makes FUN accessible to children with three Magic Spells: "Magical Days Out" providing tickets and contributing towards a travel grant for families to enjoy their day at a Merlin Entertainments’ attraction; "Merlin’s Magic On Tour" working with our local communities at hospitals and hospices to bring the magic to the children wherever they are; and "Merlin’s Magic Spaces" designing and creating amazing projects in hospitals, orphanages, learning centres and more all around the world.

Merlin’s Magic Wand is a charitable trust registered with the UK Charities Commission, registration number 1124081. Merlin’s Magic Wand Trustees Limited is a company incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 06511344.

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