The room at Rainbow Stars’ hub in Kesteven Street was opened on Friday last week by Coun Robert Oates and his wife, Ann, the mayoress after a £25,000 grant was awarded earlier this year by poultry processor Moy Park from its new £1 million community fund.
Rainbow Stars had been fundraising to furnish the room through bingo sessions, craft fairs and Christmas events, but plans were scuppered by pandemic restrictions.
Jane Peck, the group’s founder, explained they then heard the company, which has a factory at Anwick, had a community fund, so the Rainbow Stars committee applied and ended up receiving its biggest grant ever.
Jane said: “The sensory room will provide so much joy, learning and benefits for disabled children to interact, feel calm and be safe.”
She said the grant covers the lion’s share of the cost.
Jane said the room will help calm young people, providing physical and mental stimulation through sight, smells, touch, bubble tubes, a laser wall and even the floor will be interactive. They eventually hope to invite care home residents with dementia to benefit too.
A tearful Jane thanked the mayor and mayoress and Moy Park for making the dream a reality: “Their donation for this room will enhance so many lives in Lincolnshire.
“I would also like to thank the owners of this building who allowed us to alter the room and I would like to thank my team of volunteers who give up their time to support others. Their passion and dedication shines through. It has been a really hard year with the pandemic, but they never give in.”
Coun Oates said: “It is the first time we have seen your new home and we are really impressed with it. We look forward to coming back and joining you on many happy events in the future.”
As well as volunteers and their children, president of the Rotary Club of Sleaford Barbara Roberts, was invited due to their support, along with Moy Park repfresentative Richard Aldous, who thanked the charity for reaching out to Moy Park enabling them to help the community.
Prior to the event, Howden’s joinery of Sleaford donated £250 from its community fund too, while Sleaford Town FC annnounced Rainbow Stars would be its chosen charity for the next season.
The club said they are “nothing without community”: “We will be supporting Jane, her team and those they serve in numerous ways and proudly wearing their cheerful logo on our kit for all to see.”
“The work they do will inspire us all.”