College points way ahead with a new sensory room

University bans plastic straws

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FOR many students, an intense workload can lead to high levels of anxiety and stress.

Now South Downs College has created a calming space to help with student wellbeing, as well as assisting those on the autistic spectrum.

The space will enable students to take time out as and when they need it, in a quiet space kitted out with sensory mood lights, creative equipment and room dividing curtains.

The room will be staffed at all times by the college’s additional learning support team, to offer students emotional support.

As part of the work on the new sensory room, the college also signed up to the Ambitious about Autism charter.

Additional learning support manager Darren Darby said: ‘I am extremely delighted with our new sensory room.

‘It is another valuable addition to the extensive student support mechanisms that already exist within the college.

‘This specially-designed and well-equipped room will provide a safe, calm and peaceful space for many of our students and it will contribute significantly to their overall health and wellbeing while at college.’

The sensory room is not the only wellbeing change the college has introduced.

South Downs College has also launched a breakfast and lunch club for those who require additional learning support.

A separate room will be available for the club, which will offer a much quieter, relaxed environment.

Kevin Filby, deputy director of service development at Ambitious about Autism, said: ‘South Downs College should be congratulated for opening their new sensory room.

‘Young people with autism sometimes need extra support to help them with their studies and this facility will help them learn, thrive and achieve.

‘Education is the key to transforming the lives of children and young people with autism. It is very satisfying to see mainstream colleges making their facilities more accessible to young people with autism. This should be part of every college’s plan.’