Thomley is a support and activity centre in Buckinghamshire. It is a place for people of all abilities and disabilities, bringing disabled people, their families, carers and friends together with experienced and nurturing staff that understand their needs. The Foundation awarded Thomley with a grant of £8,330 to replace and update its sensory room which used by young people with disabilities.
Thomley shares how the grant has benefitted the users of its sensory room:
Thomley was lucky enough to receive a grant of £8,330 from DM Thomas Foundation for Young People in September 2016 to revamp our sensory room equipment. The funds were spent on the purchase and installation of an interactive borealis tube and a sensory floor.
The sensory room first opened in 2004 and remains one of the most popular facilities here. It is utilised at its full capacity throughout the year and is so much in demand that we are actually fundraising for a second sensory room! The current one was in real need of a revamp and this grant has certainly done that. The grant has extended the life of this popular resource.
Visitors to Thomley have a wide range of learning and physical impairments, behavioural challenges and complex medical conditions.
Our visitors use the sensory room to:
• Retreat to a quiet restful place when they find the activities and noise of the setting stressful
• Engage in sensory stimulation through touch, light and music that they don’t have opportunities for in the wider community
• Take part in quiet games and activities where they find large group work threatening
Long-term benefits of using the sensory room include:
• Greater resilience to stressful and threatening situations
• Extending opportunities for visitors to extend their sensory experience and use this to make better sense of their surroundings.
• Helps to build body awareness
• Develop eye hand co-ordination
• Creates opportunities to explore cause and effect
All users of the sensory room report an improvement in areas of managing negative behaviours, engaging in stimulating activities, learning to control their environment through the use of the equipment we were able to install with this grant.
The sensory room is popular with all of our visitors, regardless of age and impairment.