The (almost) annual raffle is a key fundraiser supporting resources and advocacy work undertaken by the NSDRC. This year it is looking to expand its community resources by adding another multi sensory room available for community use and this time making it mobile to serve even more people.
An example of a Snoezelen room.
Multi-sensory environments are safe spaces designed to stimulate senses, explained Kathleen Jessop, interim executive director for the North Shore Disability Resource Centre. They can soothe and calm the agitated, as well as engage the withdrawn, she said.
“We are purchasing sensory equipment and putting into a van to make it mobile,” said Jessop. “There is one multi sensory Snoezelen room on the North Shore and it’s booked all the time. Our plan is to make it mobile so we can take it to a person or to a school or to a seniors’ centre or even to a community event.”
With ambient and active visual, touch, sound and smell stimulation, the existing Snoezelen room is already an important resource for local families.
“We will be able to serve the people we already do with the room but we can also expand and serve others and it will raise awareness of us in the community as well as what multi sensory spaces are and what they are used for,” said Jessop.
The goal is to be up and running by April 2020 or when all the funds needed have been raised. The project has gotten a big boost being the beneficiary of this year’s North Shore Community Foundation’s Mayors’ Golf Tournament. That $50,000 is a huge step forward, said Jessop.
“We have some families whose children are so anxious they don’t want to leave their houses. If we can bring the room to their doorstep, we can get them from their threshold to the van it will be a huge step for them,” she said.
“You can imagine these families seeing the van pull up and having their children able to participate in something, to smiling and enjoying something – it could change lives,” added Bob McCormack, NSDRC past-president and board member.