South West Wales

£50k lottery funding for memorial park at Neath

Rhianna Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Rhianna was diagnosed with a brain tumour in April 2015 and died in June 2016

A play park in Neath Port Talbot is to be expanded with National Lottery funding in memory of a nine-year-old girl who died from a brain tumour.

The play area in the Gnoll Country Park in Neath will be expanded for disabled children after the Rhianna's Swing project was awarded £50,000.

Rhianna Chellew died in 2016 after a year-long battle with a brain tumour.

A classmate had the idea after hearing Rhianna had to travel to Exeter to access a disability-friendly park.

Rhianna also visited a disabled access swing in Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd while she was unwell, but her parents found there were no other playgrounds with specialist equipment in Wales.

This led to a six-hour round trip to visit a park in Exeter, almost 150 miles away, the only specialist disability park in Britain.

Rhianna suffered from a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine glioma (DIPG), a tumour in the middle of the brain stem.

DIPG is very difficult to operate on because of the position of the brain stem in the head.

Lottery funding is also going to Cardiff's Theatre Versus Oppression, which will receive £187,478 for theatre workshops for the homeless and KIM Inspire in Flintshire, which will get almost £250,000 for projects and activities for men with mental health problems and learning difficulties.

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