Raymond Terrace Men's Shed delivers with giant naughts and crosses for RDA Lower Hunter

CONNECTED: Frank Seysner and Dennis Moore from Raymond Terrace Men's Shed with Newcastle Junior School student Taj, 8, and RDA Raymond Terrace volunteer Paul Radley. Picture: Sam Norris
CONNECTED: Frank Seysner and Dennis Moore from Raymond Terrace Men's Shed with Newcastle Junior School student Taj, 8, and RDA Raymond Terrace volunteer Paul Radley. Picture: Sam Norris

The humble game naughts and crosses has been taken to dizzying new heights at Raymond Terrace and Lower Hunter Riding for the Disabled.

The game was designed with horseback therapy in mind for the children as young as three who come through the centre.

“The game will help with the children’s balance as they will have to lean over and push the naughts and crosses around,” coach Carol Brown said.

“On the other side of the cubes will put photos to make it a memory game for the children. It will help with their core strength.”

Raymond Terrace RDA was approached to help with the project.

“They asked if any chance we could make something like this up,” Frank Seysner said.

“Being shed manager I said ‘that’s my job’.”

He put the highly-talented Dennis Moore on the job.

“I get the most interesting projects and I often scratch my head and think ‘how’s this going to work’,” Mr Moore said.

“In a nutshell, it was bloody difficult but I did it.”

More than 100 children take part in sessions at Raymond Terrace five days a week, with more than 100 volunteers on the roster.

The naughts and crosses game was placed in the sensory garden, a space that is both educational and soothing for the children.

Mrs Brown is not only a coach but a member of the management committee.

She said it’s fulfilling work.

“A lot of children come in non-verbal and they start talking,” Mrs Brown said.

“Not all of them but a lot of the time this is the case.”

Across the state there are 38 RDAs entirely charity funded.