Sensory space for children with and without autism

Who are we:
James and myself are local people who see a huge need for outdoor play provision in our community. James is a care support worker for young individuals with Autism and I work with children with Cerebral Palsy within the NHS. We are both passionate about empowering children and young people and celebrating them for their individuality.

Where are we based:
We are located on a piece of land behind the Rowland Road WMC, Rowland Road, Leeds, LS11 6ED.

What are we doing:
We are creating a community space for the people of South Leeds and surrounding areas to come together as a community and make connections.
The space will be for children with and without Autism/learning difficulties with the intention of helping children be accepting and inclusive of each other regardless of difference, but also to help children with difficulties find common ground with others.
We plan to create a safe space for parents and carers/support workers to build friendships and connections regardless of social background and for those parenting children with extra needs to come together with others who understand.
The service we provide will be free and anyone can get involved.

What are our aims:
To create a free community space, free flow in design with different 'play zones' for children to explore in a way that is beneficial to them. The environment will be an outdoor space that utilises natural resources and offers the exploration of natural elements through the use of various sensory modalities.

How will we achieve our aims:
We are and plan to continue making valuable connections with people in our community who share our vision. We intend to reach and spend time with as many local people as possible as this is who we are doing this for. Once we have raised enough funds to clear the land and resurface the ground ready to develop we plan to apply to be a CIC (Community Interest Company).

Where will the money go:
Your money will go directly into funding resources to clear the land such as tools, gloves and the hire of excavators, diggers and industrial strength weed killer to keep the land clear and maintainable. We need to purchase an industrial container in order to keep our tools and equipment safely locked away. Funds will also go towards providing people with refreshments at our events.

Our Events so far:
We had our first successful networking event on the 10th of June, which was funded by 'Small Sparks Funding' for beverages and for the cost of leaflet printing.
We are now excited for our next event on the 3rd July where we will welcome people to see the change in the land, have a chat and help clear some of the rubble into skips.

Our connections so far:
We have already made some good connections, from ED Carlisle our local MP, who is our Patron. A lady called June who has been awarded the Queen's Award for her community company the Growing Zone. She is also the chair person for the Coming Together Group who we are now officially a part of, and is on our board of directors. Miriam who runs another Queen's Award winning community company the Little Hiccups is also a valuable connection who is supporting us in our venture.
Please see below for our page link where you will find regular updates:

Fundraising team: Senses Through Elements (2)

James Inge
Jade Belton
Team member

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