A new sensory area has been opened inside Chester's Den in the HUB at the Proact Stadium.
Sensory equipment has been installed in the area, combining a range of stimuli to help individuals develop and engage their senses. These include lights, colours, sounds and sensory soft play objects, allowing children to explore and interact without risk.
Sensory areas can help those who have learning difficulties, developmental disabilities or sensory impairments learn to interact with the world around them.
Chesterfield’s mayor, Councillor Maureen Davenport, who performed the official opening of the area, said: "It's an impressive addition to the play area which will help children with disabilities.”
Chesterfield FC Community Trust’s Hayleigh Vasey said: “We are so happy to have been able to add this facility and we just can't wait for people to come down and use it.”
The equipment has been installed by Chesterfield-based firm ROMPA, a world leader in sensory design and equipment, with Accessible Derbyshire also helping to fund the project.
"Without ROMPA and Accessible Derbyshire, we wouldn't have been able to do this,” Hayleigh added. “We're just so grateful we can put something in our play area that's for all the community to use.”
Ryan Smyth, commercial and marketing assistant at ROMPA, was at the launch to explain the uses of the equipment. "The first area when you walk in is an active area for stimulating,” he said. “We then have a tactile area, which is more based around tactile exploration and in the back corner is a more relaxing area.
"ROMPA works all over the world but to have a project right on our doorstep as part of the community is really pleasing. It's great for the staff at ROMPA to to be able to see the benefits."
Martin Thacker, East Midlands regional director for the National Deaf Children's Society, also attended the launch. He said: "It's very visual and it's very tactile so I think it will be able to support children who have all five senses and those children who don't have all five senses. They'll be able to have an opportunity to explore, enjoy and learn.”
He also took time to praise the great work being done by the Community Trust, adding: "I think the Trust is in the forefront now of many Trusts across the country who are actually trying to improve their ways of developing inclusion for the local area.”