Today I had the pleasure of representing Rompa at Gully’s place. Gully’s place provide palliative care for children and their families. Whilst there I met William (3) who has cancer, his big brother Gary (6) and Marion who is a sister on the ward.
We’re delighted that we could contribute to fund raising efforts of Gully’s Place by donating the tactile pyramid you can see in the photo. William absolutely loved it and got stuck straight into exploring it.
Marion, William and Gary with Mike at Gullys’s Place
Gully’s place have a satellite site called Julia’s hospice who also now have an end of life suite and are interested in a sensory room. Plus Dorchester hospital are about to open a Gully’s place of their own which will also require an additional sensory room.
Gully’s Place have done a magnificent job of raising funds for their sensory room, including having plucky volunteers jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane to raise money for the ward. Well done to everyone who contributed their time and money to this wonderful facility.
Following on from the success of our first set of meetings with the Lacey A Collier Sensory Complex I was delighted to be invited back along with to present our room designs.
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- Mike with the the staff of the Lacey A Collier Sensory Complex
Our remit was as follows; To improve the sensory rooms without changing their much loved core themes and values, after many team consultations we feel we achieved the perfect balance.
We are confident that these new designs will leave them inspired, excited and will have the maximum benefit for the children who use them. I am delighted to say that the management and staff at the centre were impressed with our designs and are now looking to move forward with us.
This is going to involve several more trips to Pensacola and we will of course keep the blog updated.
Lacey A Collier Sensory Complex
Recently I was invited to meet the staff of Westgate School in Pensacola, Florida, who are looking to refurbish their four amazing themed sensory rooms. Completed in the autumn of 2005, the Lacey A. Collier Sensory Complex was created in order to provide a higher quality of education to their diverse population of students. Centrally located on the school’s campus, this facility is composed of an atrium, four large themed multi sensory rooms, a sensory corridor and a sensory garden.
I spent a week there meeting Judge Collier and the staff, demonstrating our innovative new product Sensory Magic and surveying the four rooms in order to start the process of the revamp. This represents a large commitment from the school and further cements the Rompa and Westgate relationship.Our talented design team have started work on the designs that will allow the school to benefit from state of the art technology that will mean that whilst maintaining the current themes of the rooms we will now make them a truly interactive and immersive experience.
On a personal note it was an immensely enjoyable experience to meet the dedicated staff of the school, to have the opportunity of working in a different country and of course to enjoy the Florida sunshine and hospitality.
Kingswood Open Day
Helping local communities is important to Rompa – this is why Rompa team members Mike Brooke and Dan Casey attended an open day at the Kingswood Centre in Corby, Northamptonshire this week.
The Kingswood Children’s Centre is vital to the local community as it provides a safe and stimulating space for children and support to parents and families. The Kingswood team is currently putting together a bid to fund a new sensory environment to be put within a space that is really under used at the moment and have asked Rompa to get involved.
Rompa’s in house design team had already produced a 3D room plan and Mike and Dan attended the open day to let the children of the area play with the products. The design was then presented to the Kingswood Team and a question and answer session followed.
“Needless to say the kids loved the equipment, it was great to see so many young children exploring and playing with some benefits becoming immediately clear. It was also great to stand in front of the team who will be using the space and answering questions we would never have thought about!”
“This is such a fantastic centre, we would love to be able to help and provide the equipment. Today has been a success to see the children benefit from our equipment and to get some feedback on our design! We hope we have provided the team with enough information to put in a really solid bid which will get the grant awarded to the centre so we can help the community even more.”
I have just come back from the bi annual Scandinavian Snoezelen conference in Asker Norway. Rompa were asked to attend the event by our Norwegian partners Klubben. The conference was a great success with nearly 200 attendees most whom came to our stand. We enjoyed lectures from as far a field as Beit Issie Shapiro based in Israel who talked about the positive impact that a Snoezelen environment can have for special needs children in a dentist. There was a lot of excitement around the imminent release of Sensory Magic with several people asking if Rompa could go back to both Norway and Sweden to demonstrate this truly interactive solution.
On a personnel note it was an interesting trip for me having never been to Norway before. I was impressed by the enthusiasm for the Snoezelen environment, future technologies and their incredible grasp of the English language. English truly is the second language and from the bus driver, to the hotel staff and the clients I met they were all happy and comfortable speaking our language.
The trip was not without its eventful moments though; I caught the Torp express from the airport to Asker. I was informed that this would drop me at the train station in Asker where I would meet our friends from Klubben. This did not prove to be the case as the bus dropped me on the outskirts of town. I was informed that this was as far as the bus went into Asker and I was to make the rest of my way on foot! So off I went with bag in tow through an underpass and unbelievably into the woods not speaking a word of the language or able to read the signs. Luckily it turned out to be a short walk into town and I soon found the train station.
There was also the moment when over dinner when through tears of laughter I was informed what Rompa meant Norwegian. It explains why the customs official gave my work emblazoned top such a funny look. I shall leave you to figure out the translation…