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Thomas Wolsey School seeks donations for sensory cabin

PUBLISHED: 14:53 14 October 2016

The children were delighted with this donation

The children were delighted with this donation

Archant

An Ipswich school for children with complex physical and learning difficulties is looking to build a sensory cabin – but is in need of donations after unsuccessful grant requests.

The Thomas Wolsey School began the project after the Lord Taverners and BT donated £25,000 worth of sensory equipment to the cause.

But after grant applications for building the space were turned down, the school is now at risk of having to decline the sensory equipment donation unless funds can be found.

School business manager Teresa Snowling said: “With many of our children suffering from sensory impairment we understand the need for them to enjoy a calm, relaxed sensory space along with the need to create experiences which they may never have the opportunity to experience during their lifetime.

“Sometimes the only way we can get a reaction from a child is when they are placed within a sensory environment and what a joy it is to see a child able to engage in this way and to maybe see a smile or a look of excitement or enjoyment on their face. The sensory log cabin would mean so much to so many of our children, their families and the wider community.”

The cabin would use specialist film projections called IRIS combined with sounds, vibrations and wind machines to simulate actual environments such as forests or the seaside, which many of the pupils may not ordinarily experience.

The outdoor cabin would also be different to an ordinary classroom and provide a retreat for those who need it at lunchtime, while also being let out for community use.

So far, £2,137 has been raised thanks to Ipswich School’s summer ball fundraiser, but is seeking support from businesses and fundraisers to make the cabin a reality.

Jonathan Leigh-Smith, head of strategic research at BT Adastral Park, said: “I know how sensory rooms can make a profound difference to the wellbeing and development of young people with learning and physical disabilities.”

Anyone who may be able to help the school should contact Teresa Snowling on 01473 467600.

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