Winners of the Ann Beckett Award 2021/2022 are Alice Moore and Helen Lynch

CRANN Inclusive Playground Project - Design by inclusion, inclusion by design

The Ann Beckett Award committee is delighted to announce the winners of the Ann Beckett Award 2021/2022

Alice Moore & Helen Lynch

are the winners of the

Ann Beckett Award

with their project

CRANN Inclusive Playground Project

Design by inclusion, inclusion by design

This year’s winning project turned children with neuro-physical disabilities and their families into playground designers.  Children and families worked with a team of Occupational Therapists alongside architects and builders to imagine their dream, inclusive playground and recreation space.  Alice Moore and Helen Lynch of University College Cork worked with the Crann Centre, a not-for-profit organisation in Cork that supports people living with neuro-physical disabilities and their families.  Staff at the centre approached the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in University College Cork for support in their efforts to build the first fully inclusive playground in Ireland. Alice and Helen drew on their expertise in designing for play to work which families and service users of the Crann Centre in Cork to design their state-of-the art, inclusive playground. 

Recognising that children and their families are ‘experts’ in play, Alice and Helen gathered their previous experiences of playgrounds and gave them the chance to work with architects and builders to communicate their own dreams and vision of their perfect playground and recreation space.  Several design rounds resulted in a design everyone was happy with and as building began on the €500,000 inclusive playground everyone’s dreams got a little bit closer.  The playground is due to be officially opened in June 2022 and will be a model for what inclusive outdoor play can really look like once children and families are consulted and included by design professionals.

The new play and recreation space has been designed to be barrier-free and aims to have something for everyone from swings to playhouses, a sensory area and gym equipment and musical instruments.  There is even an outdoor pizza oven and BBQ area for family parties.

One of the highlights of the new design will be a fully accessible Pirate Ship giving children with different needs the same opportunities to climb to the top of the ship.  As one participant said, “there will be no more limits on my play….. this project is one that will change my life forever

This is an excellent project and a worthy winner of the Ann Beckett Award 2021.

Alice Moore is currently completing her PhD studies and Helen Lynch is her supervisor at University College Cork.  They both have a wealth of experience in making play experiences for children accessible and inclusive.

The Award will be presented at the AOTI Conference in October.

The Ann Beckett Award Committee would like to thank all the other applicants for their excellent projects. These projects reflect the values of the Ann Beckett Award and follows the foundations that leaders like Ann Beckett have laid, to ensure innovative and life changing practice by Occupational Therapists.


The Ann Beckett Award is kindly supported by O’Neill Healthcare. 



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