A new and improved sensory room at Grimsby hospital will benefit children with additional needs.
It officially opened this month in the Child Development Centre (CDC) and provides a space for play therapy.
Caroline Russell, CDC Nursery Team Leader, put in a ‘wish’ to the Health Tree Foundation (HTF) – the hospital’s official charity – to improve the facilities following a flood in May 2020 that damaged the existing room. The charity has invested more than £30,000 to create the bespoke and specialist sensory room.
She said: “We are delighted to have received funds from HTF to bring this room back to life. It was previously very well used and we hope it will be again.
“It’s a dedicated space for therapeutic development and sensory play. There are lights, sounds and equipment that the children can explore and interact with to aid their development through play.
“The room will make a real difference to children with sensory differences, such as visual impairment and neurodiversity. It can be used in a bespoke way to calm or to stimulate children in accordance with their individual needs.
Caroline said the room may also be used for children attending Outpatient clinics who have additional needs, and may become distressed by staying in the larger waiting area.
When you pay a visit to the new sensory room, it’s hard to tell which is brighter – the array of colours, lights and sounds, or the smiles on the faces of the children.
Within seconds of pushing open the door, the room is filled with the sound of excited squeals, as Isla Lancaster, three, and Archie Kirwin, two, start to explore.
Isla’s mum Sarah Brakewell, of Cleethorpes, said: “We have been counting down for this and it’s definitely great to see it open and ready to use.
“It’s Isla’s biggest thing. She’s visually impaired, has Cerebral Palsy and is epileptic, so she has big sensory needs. This is the best thing for her and she’s always dead happy in the sensory room.”
Laughing as Archie got into his stride pressing the coloured buttons that change the colour of the bubble tubes, his mum Carly Burnett agreed, adding: “He’s loving it. I think it’ll be a favourite.”