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building safe spaces 4 children - sensory room

by Inga Murray in Urmston, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 21st April 2020 we successfully raised £2,395 with 35 supporters in 154 days

Teaching children struggling with their emotions and behaviour to learn how to manage themselves out of crisis through sensory therapy

by Inga Murray in Urmston, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

The extra money will allow us to knock down a wall and place an RSJ in the ceiling so the sensory room can be a lot roomier and we would be able to accommodate more children in their need. We will also be able to lower the ceiling height and add diffused lighting to create a more cosy and safe atmosphere all adding to the calming abilities of the space.


Our dream

To create a sensory facility to play a vital role to calm the minds and improve the mental health of children who are in distress through experiencing difficult situations in life or school.

In the past year alone we have had young children trying to deal with bereavement, family breakups, serious illnesses and many other situations that have been extremely distressing, we currently don’t have anywhere that is a calm and safe space to help these children get through such difficult times . With your help we will create a sensory room, calm space where they can learn to manage themselves out of crisis and build a more positive emotional response to difficult situations.

Why is it needed?

Many of our children are finding elements of life and school environment overwhelming, by creating a safe space we can better encourage children to develope coping skills. A sensory room with calming atmosphere and specialist equipment to create the right level of sensory input to influence the children’s mood and stress levels leading to better mental health for the children and reduced stress for their families.

Why help us?

Without your help it will take many years for us to raise enough money to implement an effective sensory space but we have a rising number of children who desperately need that help now. I am a stay at home Mum with a vision to create the best possible learning environment for all the children at Flixton Primary school, I chair the PTA charity where many like minded parents work together to achieve the best for everyone’s kids. This project will help every child but particularly those who are struggling the most emotionally, mentally and educationally. We believe that by teaching the children how to regulate their emotions we will have less disruptions in class benefitting all the children’s learning environment and instead of these children constantly being disciplined, we will use the sensory therapy to teach mindfulness skills. Once that child has learned the ability to regulate their emotions the time can be restricted to 5-10 minutes and learning can resume much more quickly.

What else will we achieve?

By contrast other children With a range of problems such as autism, ADHD and sensory disorder are proving to need extra physical and mental stimulus, our safe space will provide the chance to get that stimulation in short timed bursts providing the increased amount of input these children need to regulate their nervous systems, repeated physical movement can facilitate greater levels of focus and concentration.

Where’s the proof?

When this idea was first put to me by the head teacher and the SEN coordinator I thought it was bonkers! I assumed the kids would play up in class to get sent to the room and then play instead of learn. But then I researched the mad suggestion and found that there are a growing number of schools in Australia, Canada and USA employing this technique very successfully! Educators are reporting greater levels of concentration, children learning to control their emotions and better mental health indicators, plus less distractions and better learning environment for the whole class. So now I’m completely on board and we are going to give our children the best possible chance of a bright future!

Testimonial

“The kids are responding really well to it and really enjoy the swinging and jumping, which appears to calm them before they return to class,” said Savannah Taylor, Harold McCormick elementary school’s occupational therapist USA.

How will the money be spent?

We will tailor the equipment bought specially to the current needs of our children. The sensory items with the best reported effects are: 

  • bubble light tubes 
  • vibrating chair
  • cocoon swing
  • interactive projected images
  • fibre optic tube lights
  • mini trampoline
  • crash mat
  • swing 
  • chair leg thick elastic bands 
  • elliptical machine

Why do we have a stretch target?

The extra money will allow us to knock down a wall into a disused entrance, replace the old entrance door and place an rsj in the ceiling to make it safe. More space means we can help more children and have a comfortable parent meeting area, putting an end to the negative connotations of SEN meetings being in the head teachers office. We can also lower the ceiling and install specialist lighting to enhance the sensory atmosphere.

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£50 or more

2 of 20 claimed

Supervised family visit to the sensory room

This reward is aimed at local Flixton people, particularly extended families from our school community. Once the sensory room is completed you will be invited to find a mutually available time to visit the sensory room as a family.

£5 or more

High five ✋

£5 May not be much to you but it means a lot to us! Thank YOU. Also when we hit out target rest assured there will be 450 children all high fiving so thank you very much!

£20 or more

2 of 40 claimed

£20 Reward

A personal invite to a special assembly at school where the head teacher and the children will say a thank you in our schools special way.

£100 or more

0 of 40 claimed

£100 for a place in our history!

We will commission a plaque with the names of our supporters which will adorn the wall outside of the sensory room and have your name or company name etched into the history of our school, for children and parents to see for many years to come.

£150 or more

0 of 25 claimed

Exclusive invite to opening ceremony

When the project is completed and the wonderful sensory room is ready to be used we will hold an opening ceremony. Claim yourself an exclusive invite to the ceremony

£250 or more

0 of 30 claimed

Corporate sponsorship reward

A thank you message and link to your company on our Facebook page and website, generating lots of good will amongst local people making your company look great! (Your company will need to provide us with the link details)

£500 or more

Corporate reward - framed thank you

Personalised thank you frame for your office with messages from our children, opportunity to be proud everyday of your companies help to our children and great to show any office visitors. Plus a choice of any one other reward.

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