In what way did MKCC need support?
Having successfully raised over £150,000 to construct the Sensory Suite, a dedicated calming, soothing space to support children and young people with additional educational needs, MK Christian Centre approached MK Community Foundation seeking the vital funds to effectively get them over the finish line and to enable them to furnish/equip the suite.
What difference did the grant from MK Community Foundation make?
The grant from MK Community Foundation has enabled MKCC to completely kit out the interior of the suite to a high standard. This designated space was imagined and designed by the New Factory ensuring multiple sensory needs were catered for. Family Pastor, Nicola Ritchie, said “We wanted to design a space that felt calm, secure and homely but also met the needs of a variety of children. The grant has enabled us to do this.”
Have you had any positive feedback on The Sensory Suite?
Due to the restraints of COVID-19 and national lockdown MKCC have been unable to fully utilise the space; however partnerships and links are being forged with parents, local schools, MK’s Inclusion Team and MK’s Paediatrics Physiotherapy Team.
Positive feedback has already been received from parents who are excited to use the space once they are able. One parent said ‘I do not think you can appreciate the impact this designated space will have on our family. We cannot wait to attend and make use of the resource.’
MKCC have also received a few messages from parents in the community they do not know after seeing the Sensory Suite on MKCC’s social media pages, articulating how excited they are to see this space in Milton Keynes.
One mum said she has a child on the autistic spectrum and ‘to see this is happening locally is wonderful, the possibilities of families to access this space is exciting’.
Professionals are keen to work with MKCC to provide creative packages for children with complex needs. One professional explained how some children find it challenging to settle into a school environment initially, so having a dual approach using the school environment and the Sensory Suite where tailored and structured support can be given is fabulous.
Nicola said, “COVID-19 has impacted the everyday rhythm of many children and young people with additional needs, some being taught at home, and others have had schedules at school
altered causing raised anxiety levels. I know this space can and will add another dimension of support to families and professionals during restrictions and beyond.
Having now met a few professionals and shown them the Sensory Suite since its completion it’s confirmed to me the huge benefit it will have on the beneficiaries. The feedback on how spacious, calm, innovative in design and accessible the space is has validated our belief that this is only the beginning of what we can provide to multiple users.”