A support worker has cycled more than 1,000 miles to raise vital funds for a sensory room to be built at the learning disability service where she works.
Abby Howard, age 25, from Leeds, has been working for the learning disability charity Hft for three years, which supports people to live the best life possible. Based at Apsley House, Hft’s supported living service in Bristol, Abby saw an opportunity to help improve the wellbeing of the people she supports, and has gone above and beyond to achieve this.
Abby described why a sensory room would be beneficial for the people she supports.
“Although the busy atmosphere of the house is warmly welcomed by all, people who live here want to make more of their external space. And so we intend to build a sensory room at the bottom of the garden.”
Joined by her friends Tanya Wolf and Jessica Hargreaves, the trio kicked off their impressive two week journey from Apsley House to Poland at the end of June. Having travelled to London and taken the train to Holland, they then began the most challenging part of their route: cycling through three countries (the Netherlands, Germany and Poland) to reach their destination, an artist’s residency called the Palace. Despite obstacles faced along the way, including very changeable weather, the group beat their target and arrived at the Palace a day early.
While at the Palace, Abby was able to develop holistic techniques that she can use at Apsley House and collaborated with others who specialise in sensory exploration.
Abby highlighted her enthusiasm for using holistic techniques and how they can improve the lives of the people she supports every day.
“I am passionate about introducing holistic ways of working and actively practice the importance of being creative in this supported living environment. A sensory room will help the people who live here to interact with the world around them, while fulfilling their sensory needs on a day-to-day basis.”
The sensory room will be situated at the end of the garden with an accessible path from the main house, through a newly renovated sensory area. It will include a range of stimuli including lights, sounds and adaptable seating, to help individuals develop and engage their senses.
To donate towards Apsley House’s new sensory room, please visit Abby’s fundraising page.
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk
Location: Hft Bristol & Bath