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Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Creating a sensory-friendly space for children and young people at Alder Hey Hospital

We’ve been working with Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool to help them create a more sensory friendly environment for children, young people and their families when they visit.

A high proportion of children visiting Alder Hey are likely to have sensory processing differences which are often associated with autism. Many can find coming to hospital challenging and need additional support to help reduce their anxiety and engage in their treatments.

As part of the project, Contact supplied the hospital with 60 wipe-down boxes filled with sensory toys, games and other products from our shop. Children visiting or staying at the hospital can use the box, which can be passed onto another child when they leave. We have also been asked to provide Alder Hey with sunglasses to help children with the glare of hospital lights and ear defenders.  

The project, led and developed by Alder Hey, neurodiverse children and young people and local parent carer forums aims to:

  • Support staff at the hospital to their increase their understanding of children and young people’s sensory differences
  • Improve the experience for children and young people and their families through every part of their journey when they come to the hospital
  • Understand the impact the hospital environment has on children’s sensory processing
  • Understand more about the journey taken by children, young people and their families’ when they visit Alder Hey, to identify the hospital’s sensory ‘hotspots’ which children find most challenging.

Ever wondered what it feels like to visit a hospital if you have sensory processing differences?

Young people at Alder Hey Hospital worked with National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) to produce this fantastic short animation to help people understand how hospital noises, lights and smells can distress or over stimulate some children with sensory processing differences. Watch it on YouTube.

Alex's Story YouTube Video

Sensory toys and accessories from our Fledglings shop

Each sensory box we supplied to Alder Hey included a Colour Changing Egg; Feelings Fan; Fidget Kit; Glitter Tubes; Pop-It Bubble Fidget Toy; Spikey Massage Roller and a Tangle Metallic.

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