The soft lighting and the comfy chairs make all the difference to the mood and engagement of clients at Afford’s Belmore Community Centre.

Thanks to funding from the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Programme, a new sensory space at Belmore offers individuals of all abilities the chance to learn how to manage their emotions with support and equipment to suits their needs.

A space mural adorns an entire wall of Belmore’s new sensory room. The stars, planets and colours encourage imagination and can help clients to develop their language skills. Earth is the central feature of the mural and staff support clients to think more about the world around them and how they engage in their community.

Comfy chairs and sofas are a trademark for any successful sensory space and Belmore’s room has them all. Chairs that clients can stretch and lay down on, through to soft cushions and seating that envelopes you as you sit, provide a variety of sensory experiences for those who use the room.

Lighting is one of the main strengths of the new sensory space. Room lighting can be dimmed to reveal a ceiling scattered with fairy lights that encourage reflection and relaxation.

“We really needed a sensory space at our site. Some of our clients use the space to take a break from the noise and activity of community centre. Having specific sensory cues in the room encourages our clients to self-regulate and understand how to deal with their moods,” said Marc, Team Leader at Afford’s Belmore Community Centre.

“The sensory space is so valuable in supporting our clients to be their best to engage with others and in activities that they love.”

Afford is grateful for the funding provided by the NSW Government’s Stronger Communities Programme. Funding enables Afford sites to enhance services and facilities to benefit many people living with disability in the community.

Find out more about how yours or your loved one’s sensory needs can be supported in Afford Community Centres across Australia.

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