Lions supports swing set for Victor school

ON THE SWINGS: Merv, Sarah, Sage, Cooper, Indiana, Elizabeth, Grant, Katie, Brian Jess and Phoenix at the installed five-way-swing.
ON THE SWINGS: Merv, Sarah, Sage, Cooper, Indiana, Elizabeth, Grant, Katie, Brian Jess and Phoenix at the installed five-way-swing.

Many children, approximately 1 in 20, experience processing disorder.

These numbers are even greater in children with autism. It is believed that over three-quarters of all children with autism have sensory process disorder.

Children with disorders in processing sensory information may have difficulty knowing where their body is, which can result in clumsiness, crashing into objects, poor posture, overwhelmed within their environment, dysregulation and difficulties with other tasks in daily life.

Children with autism, who have sensory processing difficulties can also over-react or under-react to various noises, sensations, sights, tasks, touch and more.

The smooth rocking and swaying of a swing has been proven to help many students relax and feel soothed.

So the Victor Harbor R-7 School has done something about it with the assistance of the Lions Club of Victor Harbor and Port Elliot and Varitey 'the children's charity'. The school has a Five Way Swing Set, which cost $10,417.

Intervention and Learning Support teacher at Victor Harbor R-7 School Katie Hodgson and principal Brenton Robins said the rocking and swaying movement could support students to regulate, which means they would be able to concentrate and focus better during and after movement activities or breaks.

"It is for this reason, we support children to use fidget tools and movement, or sensory breaks to focus. We provide a 'space' called the 'Tidal Room' where students can learn and practice self-regulation. We would like to also support students with a 'swinging' movement break," Katie said.

"Many students would benefit from the movement of a swing. Being a large school, we've decided to to have a 'Five Way Swing', thanks to the support of Lions and Variety, as this would allow access to more than one student at a time."

Brian Yuill from the Lions Club of Victor Harbor and Port Elliot said Lions was proud to be part of this project.

"Service clubs are getting smaller and smaller and always in need of more volunteers and it is helping children that makes this very rewarding," Brian said.

"The construction of the five-way-swing is so practical as the children can see each other having such a good time as they use it. It is well designed.

"Children living with disabilities need greater support and Lions are more than happy to help out. When asked, it was a no brainer to say yes.

"Honestly, it gives great joy to see the smiles on the children's faces as they use the swing."

Merv Mortimer has been part of Variety for 21 years and said there were funds available to assist children in need on the Fleurieu.

"Variety is known for supporting children under the age of 18 who are experiencing any health or disability issues. Variety has donated millions of dollars to make children's lives better and I am very proud to be involved with Variety and this project at the Victor Harbor R-7 School," Merv said.

To know more about Lions and join as a volunteer contact Brian on 0458 412 347.

To know more about Variety contact 8293 8744.

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