Transforming the lives of Disabled Children
The Outdoor Sensory Garden planned to be built will stimulate all senses: sight, touch, taste, and sound, through the use of different plants, materials and interactive features. For visitors who are autistic or have sensory impairments, this will create a place where they can explore their senses without being overwhelmed.
- Children and young people with autism/sensory impairments will enjoy sensory experiences that help them overcome their hypersensitivity to unfamiliar environments, better equipping them to deal with a wider range of sensory experiences in the world.
- Children and young people with autism/sensory impairments will learn about plants, flowers and vegetables, and get to enjoy the sensory experience of handling dirt and tools with their own hands, in a safe and supervised environment.
- Children and young people with autism/sensory impairments will get to enjoy the outdoors in a space that has been designed with their specific sensory needs in mind, providing an opportunity for them that they might otherwise miss out on altogether.
How we will achieve our goals
The award would allow Thomley to build an Outdoor Sensory Garden that would otherwise not be able to be funded, as limited resources are focused on providing services and programmes. It will allow Thomley to offer outdoor sensory experiences for visitors with autism/sensory impairments, providing them with important developmental opportunities.
Where the money will go
The garden will be open to the entire community during frequent ‘Open Days’ when everyone is invited to attend. These experiences create opportunities for non-disabled people in the community to have experiences alongside disabled people and help better understand, anticipate and respond to their needs in the wider community.