New £30,000 sensory room at Boston school has the ‘Wow’ factor

Class lead and project co-ordinator, Lucy Allen with pupil Helena.
Class lead and project co-ordinator, Lucy Allen with pupil Helena.

A new sensory room has been officially opened at a special school in Boston, after more than £30,000 was raised for the project in just 12 months.

The Wow Room, as it is known, was formally unveiled at John Fielding Special School, in Ashlawn Drive, on Thursday by the Mayor of Boston Coun Brian Rush.

Coun Brian Rush with apprentice teaching assistant Hayley Barrand and pupil Marcela.

Coun Brian Rush with apprentice teaching assistant Hayley Barrand and pupil Marcela.

It followed a dogged fundraising effort by the school, led by staff member Lucy Allen and supported by colleagues, to re-vamp its existing sensory room.

This was approaching 10 years old and the equipment, which was being used on a daily basis, had fallen into a poor state of repair, the school said.

It required complete refurbishment and the purchase of new, bespoke equipment.

The fundraising drive began last year with a summer fair that raised £5,000 for the works.

Class lead and project co-ordinator Lucy Allen with pupil Marcelo and invited guests.

Class lead and project co-ordinator Lucy Allen with pupil Marcelo and invited guests.

In the end, though, more than £30,000 would be collected for the project.

Richard Gamman, head of school, said: “It has been fabulous to watch this project come to fruition over the past few months. I am so grateful to all of the sponsors who have supported the project. We are delighted that so many were able to join us today. They were able to see first hand what the impact of the resources they helped to provide is having on the learning and enjoyment of pupils throughout the school.”

The school provides a specialised curriculum designed to meet the unique needs of its pupils.

Learners there range in age from two to 19 and all have severe learning difficulties, while some also have an autistic spectrum disorder, epilepsy, a physical disability, sensory impairment, medical needs and/or a communication difficulty.

Apprentice teaching assistant Demi Weir with pupil Helena.

Apprentice teaching assistant Demi Weir with pupil Helena.

The Wow Room, the school says, will form part of the learning process for its pupils, helping them develop new skills through sensory interaction.

Among those to donate funds to The Wow Room project were: Freshtime UK, The Medlock Charitable Trust, Coveris UK, Boston Netball Club, Lord Taverners, The Waynflete Charitable Trust, Headway Lincolnshire, Boston Freemasons, Boston Lions Club, and resident Mrs Dugdale.

Freshtime UK supported the project through its Freshtime Futures Trust, a scheme set up to support young people in the area.

It provided the funds which saw the school reach its fundraising target (£23,000) late last year with a grant of £13,000.

Pictured (from left) one-to-one teaching assistant Bev Taylor with pupils Chloe and Daniel.

Pictured (from left) one-to-one teaching assistant Bev Taylor with pupils Chloe and Daniel.

Steve Evans, managing director of Freshtime UK, said: “When we received the application for The Wow Room at John Fielding it was a perfect fit with what the trust is trying to achieve.”