Employers For Childcare receives National Lottery funding for new sensory room in Lisburn

Lisburn-based social enterprise Employers For Childcare is pleased to announce that it has received funding of £35,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund. The funding will be used to install and equip an innovative sensory room and quiet room in High Rise, the organisation’s new indoor adventure centre at Altona Road, Lisburn.

High Rise has been designed by Employers For Childcare to meet the needs of families who have expressed frustration at the lack of recreation facilities that can accommodate children with special or additional needs, along with other family members. The centre will be inclusive and accessible and will feature a state-of-the-art sensory room, as well as a quiet room, which will benefit a range of users, including children and adults with additional needs.

Employers For Childcare Chief Executive Marie Marin said “We are delighted to receive this important grant from The National Lottery Community Fund, which will enable us to install these much-needed facilities within High Rise. We have carried out extensive research and would like to thank the range of local groups, parents and young people who gave us their feedback. This has been invaluable in the planning and design of the sensory and quiet rooms in High Rise.

Marie added: “We are so excited for the opening of High Rise in the early autumn and we know, from our work with parents and families, that it will be a valuable addition to the leisure and recreation facilities on offer in the area”.

Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund Northern Ireland Director said: “It’s great to see National Lottery money being used by people who are taking the lead in developing ideas to help their communities thrive.

“The sensory and quiet rooms will be a brilliant addition to the new centre meaning more families with a range of needs can enjoy the facilities. I want to say thanks to all the National Lottery players who have helped make this possible.”

Paula McClinton from a local parents’ autism support group, welcomed news of the grant: “It was great to be involved in the research shaping the design of this new sensory room, and we can’t wait for it to open. It can be difficult finding places that suit the needs of my children, and I know other parents feel the same, so this will be a really important resource for our community.”

Construction work for High Rise is nearing completion, with the centre due to open to the public in the early autumn. Recruitment is currently underway for a range of roles within the Centre, including a Sensory Co-ordinator – full details are available on our website or by emailing careers@highriseni.org.

Notes to editors:

  1. Photo caption (l-r): Paula McClinton and her son Thomas, Marie Marin, Employers For Childcare and Kate Beggs, The National Lottery Community Fund.
  2. Employers For Childcare is a social enterprise, based in Lisburn – 100% of our profits are used to support the work of our charity, which helps parents with dependent children to get into, and stay in work.
  3. High Rise is a new 10,000 square foot, two storey indoor adventure centre, incorporating:
    • Clip ‘n Climb arena with 24 climbing challenges
    • Soft play area
    • Sensory room
    • Quiet room
    • Party rooms
    • Café
    • Corporate rooms
    • Changing Places accessible toilet