A Wellington boy who fundraised for disability-friendly swings has showed off the new playground equipment ahead of its unveilling this weekend.
In February, Cyrus Dahl, who has cerebral palsy, came to Breakfast to ask if the show could share his mission to enable disabled children to swing and play in his area by fundraising enough money for two accessible swings.
Breakfast viewers made it possible, donating almost double his target of $25,000 in several hours.
The 13-year-old raised over $43,000, leading to the greenlight for six specially-designed bucket swings, the first of which were installed at his local playground in Woodridge.
Having partnered up with the Wellington City Council, the new swings are planned to be introduced in five different parks around the region, with two set to roll out as part of the Newlands Park upgrade, which had not previously included room for specialist equipment.
Other swings have been added to plans for new builds at Shorland Park, Island Bay and Cummings Park Ngaio.
“Just want to say thank you - thank you everybody, thanks to all our supporters, thanks to all our fans from across the country and across the ditch and across the seas,” Cyrus’ mum Kris Dahl said.
“Cyrus is so excited and it’s so wonderful to actually see the success of his hard work pay off.”
Cyrus didn’t just succeed in his goal for an accessible swing - he also gained recognition in his community and took home some awards.
“After appearing on TV, Cyrus said he basically went to stardom overnight. People in his local community were stopping him in the street and saying, ‘Well done.’”
Kris said they were also approached by Attitude TV for a documentary and won a Wellys Award - the “local sort of Grammy Awards, if you like, for Wellington City” - alongside “our famous Mr [Michael] Baker, our Covid man and other famous Wellingtonians”.
Cyrus has plans to have the extra money raised to install more accessible swings throughout the Wellington region.
“There’s no stopping him. We got over a thousand people who donated and left some really sad messages, some really sad personal stories about their kids not being included and putting out a bit of a challenge to Cyrus to continue on his good work and so that’s what he’s going to do," Kris said.
“He actually wants to continue to put some more accessible play equipment.”
Kris said her son has been approached by the Wellington City Council to be “a bit of an adviser and to test play equipment before it’s installed and that’s awesome - that’s awesome”.
The swings will be officially unveiled on Sunday.
“We are encouraging the community to just come down, have fun, put your puffer jackets on and come and enjoy and celebrate with us.”