Plans for new sensory centre in Ilminster for families with autism

A NEW sensory centre in Ilminster will be opened by Yeovil MP David Laws later this year.

The centre will provide support, advice, a sensory room and a play area for carers and families affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder or other varying complex needs.

After the official opening at 10.30am on September 14 the centre will stay open for families and carers to drop in and talk to the founders about the support available.

The celebrations will continue through the day, and culminate with demonstrations of karate and belly dancing, and some karaoke fun.

A full programme of activities will be published on the notice board outside the centre in Wharf Lane.

Anyone interested in the facility, but unable to go on September 14, is urged to go to a coffee morning the next day between 10.30am and 12.30pm when more information will be available about the activities planned for the centre over the coming months.

3 Dimensions Care and School, the specialist children’s provider based at Wadeford, is the company behind the new community initiative.

The company’s education director, Rachel Syrett, said regular weekly coffee mornings from 9.15am to 11.30am, starting on September 17, would allow carers and families to get together and use the centre’s facilities.

“We know from our own experience and recent research published by the National Autistic Society that 74% of people caring for someone with autism feel they have no support,” she said.

“The aim of our centre is to address these needs by offering talks on autism-related topics, and acting as a signposting service for further guidance and advice, as well as a safe and stimulating place for people to meet others in similar situations.

“We anticipate that due to the lack of a similar facility in the region as a whole the 3D Sensory Centre will generate interest from all parts of Somerset and possibly further afield, including east Devon and west Dorset.”

The premises will also be available to hire by families and organisations who want to use the facilities of the sensory room and safe play area.

The main room will also be available for hire by local groups, such as dance, keep fit, martial arts and other clubs.

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