Thanks to generous donations Leeds Hospitals Charity has been able to fund several brand-new pieces of equipment for the multi-sensory room at Leeds Children’s Hospital.

The multi-sensory room provides respite away from the hospital environment where children and young people with learning difficulties can access fun and educational activities without the distractions of a busy ward. It was identified by the staff at Leeds Children’s Hospital that some of the equipment was tiring and no longer fit for purpose and was an opportunity to install new equipment that was accessible for all children and young people.

Stevie Foster, the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) for the Medical Needs Teaching Service said:

“The multi-sensory room offers a calming and safe space for children and young people, and we want to ensure the room is an enjoyable space for everyone. We knew that there was little equipment that would appeal for older children in wheelchairs or with special educational needs, so we wanted to ensure this was a space that is inclusive to every child or young person.”

Through funding the team have been able to purchase new pieces of equipment for the multi-sensory room, including a hurricane tube, which vibrates and can be interacted with at any level. The team were also able to purchase a new free-standing projector, which offers a huge range of interactions and activities for all ages and abilities. It’s able to project visuals onto the floor and these are then interactive to follow around the room. Children and young people are able to stamp and stand on these visuals and wheelchair users are able to push themselves or be pushed onto the visuals to interact. The projector plays music and sounds and displays bright and colourful lights around the room. It also offers a selection of apps to suit a range of abilities such as numeracy games and times table activities.

“Having this space and interactive equipment provides children and young people with a sense of normality and often helps reduce their anxieties of being in hospital. It offers them a calming space where they can relax and have some fun away from a clinical space. Having equipment which is accessible to most ages, heights, physical restrictions, and abilities makes the room much more inclusive and we aim to make the experience as positive as possible for the patient and their families.”

Recently, a family used the multi-sensory room with support from play staff and were really excited to experience the new equipment. The family said:

“The new sensory games were very soothing for our child, who really needed to have some time away from the ward to relax for a while.”

Stevie explained the importance of donations to Leeds Hospitals Charity: 

“We are able to access this equipment with the support of Leeds Hospitals Charity, helping us bring a sense of normality to children and young people during their time in hospital. Hospitals aren’t just about the medical side, it’s about the people and experiences. It isn’t just the treatment you receive, it’s about all the experiences you have along your journey and this all comes together to contribute to the journey towards health.”

Find out more about the difference donations make