Sand le Mere Holiday Village in Withernsea has become the first holiday park in the UK to launch a sensory playroom for children with autism, ADHD and Asperger’s syndrome.
Sonny’s Sensory Room is furnished with bright and tactile equipment to provide a stimulating setting in an environment that is safe for youngsters.
The space is equipped with brightly lit bubble tubes, sensory wall art, a star cloth and changing lights, multi-coloured flooring, bean bags, rollers and gym balls.
A second room provides a quiet setting where parents can relax or calm youngsters who become distressed.
The space has been named after Sonny Cooke, whose dad Allan is Complex Manager at Sand le Mere and had the original idea for the project.
Says Allan, “As a parent of a child with autism I see the wonderful benefits a sensory room provides. Going on holiday can be a scary experience for people with autism, ADHD or Asperger’s syndrome and the transition from home to a new environment causes lots of anxiety, so having a safe and calming place helps to ease their worries.
“I feel like I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster during the development but I am very proud of the effort and enthusiasm so many people have put into creating the space.”
Sonny’s Sensory Room is free-to-use for guests staying at the Yorkshire Coast holiday park and is also available to local charities and groups.
Support for the project has come from suppliers who gave money, equipment and their installation skills, and from Sand le Mere team members who volunteered to renovate the room.
Amby Tatla, General Manager at Sand le Mere says the park is encouraging local groups to use make use of the sensory room: “We are proud to work closely with groups such as Hull Active Day Care, who support young adults with additional needs and visit the park to swim, eat lunch and play sport.
“Having our own dedicated sensory space means that we can provide support to even more people, and we would be delighted to hear from any groups who are interested in finding out more.”
Over the past few years Sand le Mere has invested more than £9 million in new facilities including an indoor swimming pool, entertainment lounge and restaurant for holidaymakers and holiday home owners.
To find out more about Sand le Mere Holiday Village visit www.sand-le-mere.co.uk.