Just over a year ago the fundraising team visited, saw the room size and worked out a list of what we could benefit from. Thankfully a few weeks later we received a large grant for the equipment. We then spent the next 9 months fundraising so we could prepare the very tired room for the new equipment. We painted, had a new floor put in as well as an all singing and dancing lighting system that would complement the sensory equipment. We also had a member of the team go to the MacIntyre sensory event so we could utilise the room fully.
In March we were ready to do a soft launch and start using the room. Within minutes of the door finally being opened again to the people we support you could see how beneficial it was going to be. Everyone wanted to have a look and use the equipment but very quickly you could see who would truly benefit. Someone who uses a wheelchair who can get very excited and throw items was extremely relaxed and had some of the sensory items in her fingers. The member of staff could sit on the padded seating near a bubble tube and step in and out to support her with her exploration of the items. She spent time passing sensory items back and forth to staff and was able to use the colour changing water tube which she and the staff member could use at close proximity due to the design of the seating.
Since the opening we have been regularly using the room, still finding our feet, seeing what sessions work best and how the groups are mixed but throughout all of this the interactions and sensory impact the people we support are receiving is making a huge difference.
Bedfordshire Lifelong Learning