Stepping Stones is appealing for £10,000 for a sensory room

A NURSERY is raising money to revamp its sensory room which staff say allows children with special needs to feel free.

The Stepping Stones play and learning group in Barrack Street, Colchester, gives children with special needs the opportunity to play alongside their mainstream peers in an integrated setting that benefits all children.

Formed in 1991, he cares for children with a variety of conditions, including cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, as well as those who are non-verbal or have life-limiting conditions.

Nursery bosses are now looking to renovate its vital sensory room, as much of the equipment is now only partially working or not working at all.

Current sensory room equipment

They say it will cost £10,000 to realize the “absolutely incredible” vision which has been drawn up to benefit the children.

Liz Taverner, who works at the nursery and runs the campaign, said: “The piece brings pure delight to their faces; their eyes open wide and they shine.

“You can see how non-verbal kids react too – their whole body language changes when they’re in this room.

“It allows them to be free, free from the preconceptions and barriers they face in life. They love color, sound and texture and get completely lost in it.

Gazette: Equipment of the current sensory roomCurrent sensory room equipment

“Kids love pushing buttons and getting a reaction. It’s about making something move and seeing it in action, which delights them.

“It’s life changing for a lot of kids who suddenly realize they can make things happen where they may not have been able to before.

“Even as adults, when we step into this, we go back to our childhood. Who doesn’t love a bit of peace and quiet?

To help boost the fundraising effort, the incubator launched a JustGiving page to raise the funds needed to complete the project.

Read more: Meet the pioneering nursery team as they prepare to mark the 30th anniversary

Ms Taverner added: ‘A lot of the equipment gets a lot of use every day so we’ve had some upgrades but most of the fittings are the same since 2013.

“We are here to support children and families and want to provide the best possible facilities.”

You can support fundraising here.

Dora W. Clawson