Babies on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals can now benefit from a multi-sensory therapy experience thanks to a grant awarded by the Rhodi Charitable Trust to Baby Beat, the charity which supports the neonatal and maternity units.
The Sensory Voyager is a mobile play therapy unit for long-term admissions with complex needs requiring developmental stimulation. The equipment will be used with both preterm and sick infants who will really benefit from sensory stimuli, and will help both babies and their families in times of stress.
The Sensory Voyager features a hurricane column which expels amazing lights and colours, fibre optics, a mirror ball, a solar projector which projects colourful images onto surfaces and even a sound system. It will help to provide a non-medicalised focal point to divert attention away from the loud alarms and high tech equipment associated with a clinical environment and help families and their new arrivals to bond.
Emma Heslop is the NICU Coordinator at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals who put the original funding bid in for the Sensory Voyager.
“While we do have a sensory room on the unit, unfortunately many infants don’t get the chance to use it because they are not stable enough to be moved away from the clinical area. The Sensory Voyager is amazing because it’s portable, so we can bring it to babies and they can still have a fantastic sensory experience. We are so grateful for this support through this funding, as this equipment brings real calmness to babies and their families at what is an extremely distressing and difficult time.”
Cathy Skidmore, Temporary Manager at Baby Beat said:
“We are delighted that the Rhodi Charitable Trust awarded us a wonderful grant to purchase this amazing equipment. We hope that it will really help to stimulate and encourage the development of neonatal babies in the unit during a very difficult time.”
Habibullah Munshi, from Preston-based Rhodi Charitable Trust, said:
“We are delighted to work in partnership with Baby Beat to fund this much-needed mobile play therapy unit. We believe all babies deserve the best possible start in life and we hope our gesture will provide babies and their families comfort and support.”
You can find out more about the Sensory Voyager here.