Welcome to the house of fun
SOUTHSIDE’S Malcolm Richardson has more reason than most parents to see the need for a safe kids’ play venue, where parents can relax and socialise over bottomless coffee and tea.
He and his wife Shelley have suffered enough from family accidents, with Shelley still recovering from a broken neck and another of their daughter Teshian having suffered major burns over much of her body in a cooking accident just over a year ago.
But far from all that negativity, the name of the new Richardson project in Shanks Street, Gympie, says it all.
The Funhouse is a new community group facility for Gympie parents, aiming to provide a safe venue for kids to run reasonably “amok,” while their parents can watch and chat – and even look away for a second or two.
The play equipment, all meeting the latest health and safety requirements, was purchased second hand and originally installed at the Morayfield Shopping Centre, north of Brisbane.
There is a turtle bridge, tunnels and ladders to climb, ball pits, slippery slides and separate areas for kids of different ages.
Malcolm and Shelley say they have done a lot of work with disadvantaged families, families with problems and even children in danger, but they say their facility is open to everyone and is simply just a lot of fun.
Malcolm said he and Shelley formed the group Families for Real Child Safety because they saw a need for parents to be able to relax and meet while watching their children play safely in a properly managed environment.
“We believe that the safety and happiness of all children starts with the family.
“And helping families starts with giving them access to safe fun that is easily accessible and not prohibitively expensive.
“Parents can have a cuppa and a chat while their kids play in safety,” Malcolm said.
“There’s a bottomless cup of tea or coffee and it only costs $5 for each child and $3 for toddlers all day long.
“We have yearly memberships of $50 for families, which entitles them to discounts on entry and also access to invitation events on occasions like New Years Eve, Fathers Day and so on.
“It’s open to everyone, but it’s a case of first in, first served with the invitation events.”
The venue, at 16 Shanks Street, is open seven days a week from 9.30am until late.