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The Children’s Community Learning Disability Team at Greenbank Clinic in Preston works with children aged up to 18 with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. The team have recently moved buildings and are beginning to invite children and families into the clinic after a long period of mainly offering virtual appointments.

Although the building has three clinic rooms for interventions, reviews and assessments, the team do not have the resources to make these environments child-friendly, and somewhere that is therapeutic that children will enjoy coming to.  The rooms only contain a desk and a couple of chairs, and an echoey, blank clinic room is not a suitable environment for children with learning disabilities, autism and sensory processing difficulties. The waiting room also does not feel welcoming for families.

The team would like the rooms to feature different themes to meet the various needs of the children and young people they support. For example, some children who have an over-responsive sensory system will benefit from the calming influence of bubble tubes, however children who are sensory seekers are more inclined to remain regulated if they have the option of engaging in tactile activities during their sessions.

The equipment requested includes bubble tubes tactile mats, activity wall panels, tactile wall panels, beanbags and floor mats, sensory soft play equipment, mirrors, an activity table, and other furniture, toys and games. Providing this equipment would benefit around 750 children a year by making Greenbank Clinic a fit-for-purpose environment that is both calming and enjoyable.

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“This donation has enabled us to use more varied and useful therapeutic toys and games when working with children and young people with mental health difficulties, as well as using extra clinic rooms which are now more child-friendly. This has helped reduced anxiety about coming to CAMHS and meant that family therapy can be done. Both parents of a 10 year old boy can now attend with their 5 year old as the youngest child can play with our new resources in the waiting room or clinic space. The 10 year old benefited from therapeutic games about thoughts/feelings and we were also able to observe imaginative play for assessment.”

Dr Eleanor Oswald
Clinical Psychologist, CAMHS
Vale of Leven Hospital

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