Play cabin helps young people at Tudor House

Tudor House is a residential home in Brighton offering short breaks for young people who have a severe learning disability and other complex needs.

At present, the house supports 15 young people from the ages of 8-18, many of whom are autistic. The centre is very popular for children with a range of disabilities, and their families – allowing parents a much-needed break.

Last year, as part of our 50th anniversary appeal, we raised £50,000 to provide Tudor House with a sensory play cabin to benefit the young people who rely on the service. Construction on the play cabin, situated in the house garden, began at the end of 2017.

The cabin has been equipped with a soft play area and an activities space, and the facility is now in full use and being enjoyed by Tudor House residents. The main aim of this project was to create a better environment for the young people who stay at Tudor House. The play cabin has made a huge difference to the leisure time of children and young people, and it greatly enhances the living arrangements and available communal space.

The garden play cabin provides an alternative safe and accessible area where children can enjoy not only scheduled activities, but also free time. It has become a very popular place at the house. Many of the children accessing the services have severe autism and can find the general noisy environment of the house quite stressful.

Staff really enjoy helping the young people make the most of the space and the options it offers all year-round. Tudor House staff work closely with Occupational Therapists to ensure play activities complement physiotherapy and development plans, and depending on the children and young people’s needs, the main benefits that the play cabin provides are:

• Improved social skills from working together and taking part in group activities.

• Increased confidence and self-esteem from being able to try out new activities and develop new skills.

• The opportunity to improve physical development and independent movement, particularly when enjoying the soft play centre and the music and art activities.

• Improved sensory stimulation across all activities, and the soft play space accommodates all levels of ability and mobility.

Clare Brunt, Practice Manager at Tudor House said: “The play cabin is an invaluable resource for the children we look after. It has been kitted out as a soft playroom and activity centre, which is something that we didn’t previously have. Our young people benefit from the new space in so many ways, including being able to climb on the play equipment or run around in a safe environment where they can’t hurt themselves.

“The climbing or playing – particularly in the tunnel – also helps with weak muscle tone. Some young people love submerging themselves in the ball pool and many of the children would be in there all day if they could! For quite a few of our residents, it is a great space to let off steam and throw things around in an acceptable way without the risk of causing damage. Some of our more profoundly disabled young people love the sensory experience of the infinity mirror on the wall, which lights up and plays music. Staff can also make sounds and colours with the activity materials.”

To find out more about our 50th anniversary appeal projects, please click here.

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