Delight as sensory room opens

Carol Hooper, Karen Flack and Lynn Boyce at the launch of the multi sensory discovery room at the Goal Line Youth Centre.  YC38
Carol Hooper, Karen Flack and Lynn Boyce at the launch of the multi sensory discovery room at the Goal Line Youth Centre. YC38

Children of all abilities can now benefit from a state-of-the-art, multisensory room at a Portadown youth centre thanks to a major funding boost by the Asda Foundation.

Members of Goal Line Youth Centre, based at Chambers Park, which attracts able-bodied and disabled children from the age of six, secured almost £11,000 to create an environment which not only benefits children but their parents and carers.

The room is an area in the youth centre where members can improve the development of thought, intelligence and social skills as well as allowing them a space which generates a relaxing and calming effect.

Annemarie Rocks, from the Asda Foundation, was welcomed by the chairman of Goal Line Youth Centre trustees, Peter Thompson, at the official launch of the sensory room last week.

Mr Thompson said, “This is a major achievement and our thanks goes out to the Asda Foundation for supporting us in this venture. The funding has been a major coup for us because it will benefit so many of our young people.

“Since 1988 Goal Line Youth Centre has been working hard to ensure, through our mission, that we help young people appreciate the richness and diversity of our shared culture so they can develop a keen sense of fairness for all in an environment based on self-respect and respect for others and where they have fun together and enjoy life in Portadown.

“The funding from the Asda Foundation will allow us to continue with the work which is being carried out by our fantastic team of staff and volunteers so a huge thank you to the Asda Foundation.”

Speaking about the impact the funding will have, Annemarie Rocks said, “The Asda Foundation is all about transforming communities and changing lives and we believe this multisensory room will change and improve the lives of many young people here in the County Armagh area.

“Multisensory environments can open up a whole new world for individuals with cognitive and physical impairments so we hope our funding boost will make a difference to children’s lives.”

The launch attracted more than 70 people including children, their parents, volunteers, staff, politicians and representatives from the Asda Foundation and the Asda store in Portadown.

DUP MP David Simpson described the sensory room as “an amazing addition” to the Goal Line complex, that “will without doubt assist the children and young people who attend the club with particular needs”.

Jo-Anne Dobson, UUP MLA, said, “This marks yet another milestone in the historic timeline of Goal Line which plays a pivotal role in engaging and helping young people with special needs in Portadown.”