A young boy in Dunedin knows what friendship is all about after managing to make his local playground more accessible for his friend in a wheelchair.
Joshua Rudd is the boy’s name and he’s a Kea Scout, as is his friend Scarlette. There’s a playground near the Scout centre and Josh realised that Scarlette couldn’t really have fun with him because the place wasn’t very wheelchair friendly.
“Josh looked at the playground and said, ‘Scarlette can’t play’,” Josh’s mum Phillipa told Checkpoint. “He sees her every day. He sees the struggles she goes through just to do her stuff like everybody else and that's all she wants to do."
One of the Kea Scout badges involves building a model of something that would improve the community. Taking matters into his own hands, Josh seized an opportunity to not only gain a new scout badge but, far more importantly, help out his friend.
He redesigned some playground equipment so Scarelette could use it, and even wrote to the local council to see if his idea could actually be implemented.
“He decided that he wanted to redesign a wheelchair swing because he didn't like the ones that are out there,” Phillipa said.
“He told me what he wanted to write a letter and I wrote it out for him so that he could copy it because being 8, he wasn't very good at spelling and we did need it to be understandable."
The council did get a hold of Josh’s letter, and although they couldn’t implement his new swing, they did manage to build a wheelchair-accessible roundabout! In a Facebook post, the Dunedin City Council wrote that they are keen to have Josh on board for more playground ideas in the future.
But, the big question is… what does Scarlette think of the new toy?
“Scarlette says it’s fun,” Josh shared.
I call that a successful mission.