Shine works with children with varying levels of disabilities and additional needs, as well as their families, and has been servicing the local community for nearly 25 years. When planning the redevelopment of the centre and designing the new building, it was decided that Shine would benefit hugely from a sensory room as it would help with the users’ specific requirements, as well as their learning. The manager turned to SensoryPlus after it was recommended to them by a staff member of Norfolk County Council.
Belinda Crayston, manager, explained why having the sensory room in the centre has made such a huge difference: “The room gives the children the stimulation and engagement they need. The sounds, smells and lights create an environment that is fun, interactive and calming, and one which helps children of any age or ability to have fun as well as learn in an exciting and inspiring way.”
The sensory room forms the centrepiece of the new building and is part of a room that features partitioning walls to create one large open plan area or two separate rooms for multiple group use. The funding for the room and new building came about thanks to the centre’s fantastic fundraising efforts over the last 15 years with help from local charities, grant funding organisations, staff members and their families and a significant amount from the Norfolk County Council Short Breaks for disabled children capital fund.
Belinda said: “We are very grateful to everyone who has helped us fund the new sensory environment as it has proven incredibly beneficial to the children who come here and use it. Seeing the joy on the children’s faces, and the fun they are having when they use the space, makes all the hard work extremely worthwhile.”
So which products do the children like specifically? The fibre optics in particular, Belinda explains, are a favourite amongst the children. “The children can bring the strands of fibre optics right up to their face and really enjoy the light and colours they provide. It is a real delight to watch them interact with the different sensory tools, whether they are the fibre optics or the various pieces of soft play equipment that we have also invested in!”
“SensoryPlus is a brilliant company, really helpful and supportive,” Belinda said of the organisation. ”David and his team at SensoryPlus designed the area for us and it has been great for the children, who love it! The room is of an unusual shape and we were very impressed with their ability to create something so beautiful and practical in such a bespoke space. They had to wait for us to source funding and were extremely patient while we were fundraising. I would not hesitate in highly recommending a sensory room and SensoryPlus to any centres that have similar requirements,” Belinda continued.
David Payne, Sensory Product Manager at SensoryPlus said: “We are delighted to have designed and created the sensory environment at Shine. The children are clearly benefiting from it and the centre has done a fantastic job in fundraising. We work alongside organisations such as Shine all over the UK with the aim of creating sensory experiences that are engaging and fun for the children and also beneficial to the staff and parents.”