A new £13,000 multi-sensory room has been officially opened at Lindley Special Care Unit – a day care service for people with multiple learning and physical disabilities, run by the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust.
£10,000 was left to Lindley Special Care Unit in the will of Sylvia Hutchinson – whose son John is regularly cared for by the service. John cut the ribbon at the official opening, and a plaque has been put on the wall in Sylvia’s memory.
Donations for the new multi sensory room or ‘Snoezelen room’ were also made by the sister of someone who uses the day service. Melanie Bates’ sister Charlotte raised £930 by running the Edinburgh marathon. A further £3000 has been raised by the ‘Friends of Lindley Special Care.’
Snoezelen is a Dutch word which means ‘sniff and doze’ and Snoezelen rooms are equipped with lights, colours, sounds, smells and vibrations – all designed to stimulate the senses of people with profound and multiple disabilities.
Two of the rooms at Lindley have been refurbished with money raised, with the main Snoezelen room being equipped with specially designed vibrating bean bags, bubble tubes, colourful lights and fibre optic equipment. Staff from Lindley have helped to paint and decorate the room in their spare time.
Unit manager Paula Chilcott says, "All our staff have worked really hard to refurbish the new rooms and we’re delighted they’re finally finished and ready to use. Snoezelen rooms are really beneficial for the people we care for – they really enjoy using them.
"They stimulate all the senses and provide a nice environment for people to interact with our staff. The new equipment allows us to be able to tailor the room to each person’s needs depending on their disability, for example we have bean bags that vibrate to music for people who are deaf and we can make the room relaxing or lively depending on what would be the most beneficial."
People who are cared for at Lindley, their carers and families, staff, volunteers and people from other disability services in Huddersfield attended the opening (held on 23rd Nov). There were stalls selling home made fudge and chocolates and Christmas cards – all made by people who use services. £350 was raised at the opening event and will be used to buy more equipment for Lindley Special Care unit.