Thirty under-5s raised money through a sponsored toddle to create a vibrant sensory room in the Doddington Methodist Hall. They got all the colours of the rainbow for just £8 from Community RePaint Cambridgeshire – leaving enough left over to fill the room with sensory toys to help the children develop their dexterity, confidence and communication.

Over the past few months the volunteer-led Doddington Under 5s Group has been working hard to create an extraordinary sensory room in the Doddington Methodist Hall, which they use four days a week.

The room used to be a rather drab and ordinary space, but the Group’s committee had a vision to turn it into a sensory haven to help children develop their information processing skills. The Group wanted to be inclusive and felt the room would make their meetings more accessible and beneficial to children with special education needs. Spaces like this, filled with tactile toys and visual supports, provide sensory stimulation that can help with dexterity, information processing and communication, and boost confidence and well being in all young children.

It all started in November with a sponsored toddle and table-top sale. Thirty children took part in the toddle and walked a mile around the village of Doddington, spotting teddy-bears all the way. Just over £500 was raised towards the creation of the sensory room. The Group signed up as a member of the local Community RePaint Cambridgeshire scheme, run by Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network (CCORRN), which is just 4 miles up the road, and headed down to pick their paint.

“The people at the scheme were very helpful” said Andrea Ison, Vice Chair of the Group “Someone came round with us making sure we got paint with the right finishes. We picked loads of colours and in the end it only cost £8… We were up to 11.30pm for a few nights getting it done and I got a bit carried away with the flowers and butterflies. When the kids saw it their eyes opened wide and their mouths just dropped open!”

All the tins at the Community RePaint Cambridgeshire scheme are labelled with the number of litres and the price – there is even a discount shelf and tester pots – perfect for making extra colourful rainbows!

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