The Forest of Dean Children’s Opportunity Centre is a local charity that supports children with special needs and disabilities and their families. They said:
“Thanks to the Foundation, the Forest of Dean Children’s Opportunity Centre has lots of children benefiting from the use of our sensory room, it provides a calming, quiet environment where the children can forget their anxieties and become calm enough to enjoy the sensory toys and equipment in the room.
One little girl gets very anxious and can be disruptive in the main playroom. She is taken to the sensory room and although unwilling at first, crying and trying to get out, she soon calms down when the lights are dimmed and she is allowed to interact with a fibre optic light harness. She loves the lights and will run them through her fingers forgetting why she was so upset. When she has relaxed she is then able to play with the other equipment for example, she will walk along the tactile floor panels, feeling the different textures with her feet and hands or she will interact with the sound light panel, making noises to make the panel light up. The calming environment of the room and how she interacts with the fibre optics means she is ABLE to relax and learn when she couldn’t do so in the playroom.
The new equipment we have in our sensory room supports our children in so many different ways. The calming effect of the fibre optic lights, the projector and the musical water bed help children to relax and become more receptive to learning. The tactile panels and sensory board support children to reach out and use their muscles. The interactive screen and sound light panel also teach children to reach out but also cause and effect, that something they do has an effect on their world. The interactive screen also teaches the children to track visually and aurally, they learn to follow colours shapes and sounds, using all of their senses.
Our sensory room, newly refitted for the children is one of the most beneficial rooms in the Centre it’s also one of the most enjoyable for the children and the staff who work with them.”