South Warwickshire’s first dedicated sensory space is now ready to welcome the wider community for tailored therapy.
Sensory Place, which is operated by charity Heart of England Mencap, opened in Leamington last year and was used initially to benefit the local people with learning disabilities which the charity supports.
Now, the benefits of sensory therapy are being opened up to the wider community to support adults and children with any physical or learning disability.
Individuals and care providers are able to book in for tailored sessions with the centre, which is now open five days a week from 10am to 3.30pm.
Sensory Place can be found at the Fordsfield Centre in Bury Road, which is a complex needs day service run by Heart of England Mencap.
Funded by a £67,000 grant from Warwickshire County Council, it is the first sensory space of its kind in south Warwickshire.
It offers an atmosphere of relaxation and provides people with cognitive impairments and other challenging conditions the opportunity to enjoy and control a variety of sensory experiences.
This stimulating environment can increase concentration and focus attention, develop or reactivate senses of hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste, heighten awareness and improve alertness, improve coordination and motor development and promote cognitive development by increasing brain function.
Lorna Haynes, head of community day services for Heart of England Mencap, said: “All of this helps to build confidence and encourage improved communication.
“Our Sensory Place has been designed to remove the obstacles present in day-to-day life which limit access to experiences and enjoyment for people with complex physical and learning disabilities.”
The equipment available includes an interactive sound and light floor, fibre optics, bubble tubes and multi-media projection.
The charity has said that the benefits sensory centre are already being seen.
For one young man who is highly anxious a lot of the time, it’s a calm space he can use in the mornings to listen to relaxing music, helping him to carry that sense of calm throughout the day.
One woman has been using the space to build on her ‘switch work’ - a form of communication and an aid to support her to make choices. She is able to press a switch to turn on the bubble tube for example, developing her skills and enabling that ability to choose.
Another woman, who is reliant on her wheelchair, uses the waterbed at Sensory Place – supporting her with her posture, giving her time in a different environment and providing a safe place to be out of her wheelchair for a while.
She will also lift her head up to look at the bubble tube - giving her physical benefits, and is better engaged while using the sensory space - making more eye contact with her support workers.
“We have seen so many benefits already for our customers,” Lorna added.
“Now we want to reach out across the community to make sure everyone knows those benefits are available to all.”
Sessions cost £7 for 30 minutes or £10 for one hour.
Group and themed sessions are also available and the sensory room can be used to conduct training.
For more information and to request a welcome pack with details of how to book your session please call on 01926 460228 or email firstname.lastname@example.org