If you’re a parent or carer of a child with special educational needs, it can be a tricky task to find welcoming, accessible spaces to enjoy with your child. Luckily, across the East Sussex area, there are 12 different sensory rooms and interactive environments for families to enjoy. These stimulating yet soothing environments can help create a safe space where children can develop and enhance their sensory and tactile movement skills with various activities.
To make it a little bit easier, we’ve compiled a list for you so you that you know where the best local spots are for safe sensory family fun.
Local sensory spots
1. Embrace: support for special needs and disabled children in Eastbourne, Suite 29, The Old Printworks, Wharf Road, Eastbourne, BN21 3AW.
2. Futures Life Skills Centre in Chailey, Haywards Heath Road, North Chailey, BN8 4EF.
This centre provides a multi-sensory studio where individuals with different sensory abilities are surrounded by a pleasant and calming environment. For more information, visit their website (www.chf.org.uk) or contact the Sensory Room team.
Tel: 01825 723723
3. Sensory Studio @ Sidley Children’s Centre, Sidley, Sidley Children’s Centre, 121 Ninfield Road, Sidley, TN39 5BD.
A short induction has to take place before using the Sensory Room at Sidley. To book a 45-minute session or an induction, please contact a member of staff at Sidley Children’s Centre.
Tel: 01424 724360
Email: CCadmin.Hastings or RotherCCG@eastsussex.gov.uk
4. Sensory Studio @ Seaford Children’s Centre in Seaford, Seaford Children’s Centre, Cradle Hill CP School, Seaford, BN25 3BA.
A short induction is required before using the facilities, please contact the Seaford Children’s Centre and book your induction in advance. Please note induction sessions are not available on Wednesdays. For more information or to book, contact the Seaford Children’s Centre.
Tel: 01323 464550
5. Sensory Studio @ Hastings Town Children’s Centre, Hastings, Hastings Town Children’s Centre, Waterworks Road, Hastings, TN34 1RT.
Suitable for children under 5 years old, in particular to those under 2 years old or with special educational needs. For more information, contact Hastings Town Children’s Centre to book your 30-minute session.
Tel: 01424 726440
6. Sensory Studio @ Hailsham East Children’s Centre in Hailsham, Hailsham Children’s Centre, Hailsham, BN27 2JZ.
A short induction is required before use. Induction sessions are available on Tuesdays at 1pm-2pm during term time and require advance booking. Holiday inductions may be available upon request. For more information, contact Hailsham East Children’s Centre.
Tel: 01323 464340
7. Springboard in Horsham, 52 Hurst Road, Horsham, RH12 2EP.
Springboard has an adventure room, a sensory room and more. For more information, visit their website (www.springboardsupport.org) or contact Springboard.
Tel: 01403 218888
8. Towner Art Gallery, Fuse Box in Eastbourne, Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, BN21 4JJ.
The Fuse Box at Towner Art Gallery is a free sensory space for all ages which aims to provide a meditative and traditional sensory environment for those with learning disabilities. For more information, contact Towner Art Gallery.
Tel: 01323 434670
9. Jigsaws Cafe, Eastbourne is in Eastbourne, 74 Seaside, Eastbourne, BN22 7QP.
The regular café has a low arousal environment with various features to aid communication and support people with autism and learning disabilities. They have a sensory room to use while you visit the café with various activities and sensory items. For more information, visit their website: www.jigsawscafe.co.uk
10. Southdown Sensory Studio, Lewes, 2 Bell Lane, East Sussex, BN7 1JU.
The sensory studio provides a free induction training before using the studio.
For more information, contact the Lewes reception team.
Tel: 01273 405800
11. Newhaven Mencap Multi-Sensory Room, Riverside, Newhaven, East Sussex, BN9 9BP.
A session in the sensory room is £5 per hour, per disabled adult/child and parents can attend for free. For more information, visit the Newhaven Mencap website or contact the team.
Tel: 01273 517345
12. Barneys Playbarn in Uckfield, Bell Lane, Uckfield, TN22 1QL.
This is a family-owned indoor play area for children and families to enjoy in Uckfield. For more information, contact the team or visit their website at www.barneysplay.co.uk
Tel: 01825 764575