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Relax into a waterbed to complete the sensory experience.

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Sensory suitcase at nursery

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Brian House Children's Hospice Starts its Sensory Journey

Staff members at Brian House Children’s Hospice in Blackpool have seen the difference a sensory environment can make to children with life limiting or life threatening conditions.

Brian House Children’s Hospice provides care for children in order to give parents some respite and the sensory room from SensoryPlus, a specialist in the design and installation of sensory environments, was created to help the children relax, play and receive sensory therapy when required. Sue Pelling, a play worker at the hospice, said: “The sensory room we had installed has brought huge smiles to the faces of the children who come here. They get so much out of it since the surrounding is very relaxing.”

Sensory environments can be designed to include therapy, play and relaxation, whilst encouraging and simulating children with special needs in order to improve cognitive and physical abilities in a fun, interactive way. Sensory rooms and environments come in many different shapes and sizes, all with a similar goal; to create a safe, engaging and appropriate environment for the child.

The hospice had a sensory room installed around 16 years ago when it first opened, which underwent a refurbishment three years ago. “We now have a water bed where the music vibrates underneath, an infinity tunnel, fibre optics, a bubble tube and projector with a changing colourwash. The children really enjoy their time in the room and all the staff members have somewhere to take them and share some quality time, which is brilliant.

Staff with children

“Besides relaxing and using the equipment, we also use the room for storytelling and singing, and when some of the children’s siblings visit, they too run to the room to have a play! It helps the children to integrate with others at the hospice whilst giving them the chance to spend more time with their siblings and build a bond with them too.

Smiling girl 

“SensoryPlus as a company was so helpful and we would definitely recommend other hospices to invest in a sensory space. Visitors from other groups have enquired about the equipment and where we purchased it from as they are very impressed with it. David and the team were incredibly proactive in designing the room and helping us choose the right equipment to put in, and we are pleased to say, we have never looked back. We absolutely love it!”

The hospice also has additional corridor space kitted out with Zig Zag Wall Panels and other wall mounted sensory equipment. Sue added: “It is fantastic how you can adapt different scenarios and settings to meet individual needs, and create a sensory space just about anywhere! We are absolutely thrilled with ours and would recommend other, similar hospices to speak to SensoryPlus and find out the options available to them.”

David Payne, SensoryPlus Product Manager, said: “We are delighted that the staff members at Brian House are so pleased with their sensory room and corridor equipment. Often the idea of creating a sensory environment can seem daunting and expensive; this does not, however, have to be the case. When designing a sensory or soft play environment, setting goals and having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and why, is key.

“At SensoryPlus we encourage close collaboration with our customers from the very beginning and ensure that everyone receives guidance on this essential first step. We also offer a free room design service so you can rest assured you are getting the best for your setting, users and budget.”

For more information, or to see the SensoryPlus range, call freephone 01302 645 685 to arrange your free product demonstration.