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Mace helps to create a 'Big Life Fix' for BBC Children in Need

Mace and a number of its supply partners have played a key role in transforming a playground for a young boy who was born completely blind, to enable him to join in playtime with his friends at a school in south London. 

The Big Life Fix is a BBC television programme which sees a team of designers, engineers, programmers and tech experts face the challenge of coming up with innovative interventions that will transform the lives of people in the UK. 

For a special ‘BBC Children In Need’ edition of the show, broadcast last night on Wednesday 8 November, the Big Life Fix team were tasked with helping Josh – an eight year old boy who is completely blind – to use the playground at his primary school in London. 

The team came up with a new system using electronic and tactile pads across the playground, two ‘hub’ boxes and a number of speakers that play a range of sound effects. Combined together, the system allows Josh to navigate his way round the playground while also providing entertainment and activities for all the pupils at the school. 

Over the last six weeks, Mace and a number of subcontractors have donated their time to work with the team from the Big Life Fix to help to develop the design of the system and install it in the school playground.

The programme shows the design process from start to finish, and documents the challenges faced by the team as they work to prepare the site and install the multi-sensory tactile system that enables Josh to navigate his way safely around the playground.

Mace project managed the installation of the system, and were supported by donated time and materials from Realtime Civil Engineering and Dornan Engineering. 

Nick Abbey, Mace’s Project Director, said: 

“This has been a wonderful project to work on – it’s been great to help bring ‘The Big Life Fix’ designs to life. The final system will allow Josh to navigate around the playground with far more ease than before.

"The real reward was seeing Josh using the playground once the system was complete and working; he and the other pupils were thrilled and it was nice to see the results of our hard work making a real difference.” 

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