Sensory Bus / Outreach Project
The Linkage Outreach Project is a unique sensory initiative funded by the National Lottery Community Fund. The project provides schools, nursing homes, children’s centres and community groups across Lincolnshire the opportunity to access, enjoy and gain real benefit from sensory resources and facilities, at no cost to them.
We deliver sensory support to people and places it’s difficult to reach, helping to remove the financial and geographical barriers often involved in accessing services in fixed places.
The project is made up of a number of services.
The Linkage Sensory Bus
The Linkage Sensory Bus is the main part of Linkage’s Outreach Project. We’ve converted a big purple bus into a fully- accessible mobile sensory space packed full of exciting sensory equipment.
The bus travels around the county working with pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities and other conditions, and nursing homes with the frail elderly, including those with dementia.
Watch the video above to get a flavour of what the bus is like.
The spectacular sensory room at the back of the bus transforms into a different theme every few weeks. We use coloured lights, sounds, projectors, aromatherapy diffusers, and a variety of sensory items to create immersive environments which are both fascinating and educational for the user. Perhaps they will enter into a wondrous under sea world, or an atmospheric jungle. Or perhaps they’ll find themselves in an extraordinary English country garden, with lots of sights, sounds, smells and textures to explore.
One of the biggest benefits of the bus is that it is a truly flexible service. The room can be adapted and customised according to needs of the users; we can make it a calm and relaxing environment or a stimulating inter-active space.
If you would like the bus to visit your school, care centre, or community group we offer taster days so clients, and those supporting them, can see what the bus is like. We will then visit once a week for 6 weeks. This has shown to be plenty of time for users to get maximum enjoyment out of the experience. It’s also plenty of time for parents/carers/teachers and support staff to gather ideas on how to continue bringing a sensory experience to their setting after the bus has gone.
Important to know: While the bus is in the setting all those using it need to be accompanied by those who are caring for them.
The Linkage Sensory Library
Our sensory library gives people the opportunity to borrow sensory resources and find out what works for them, at no cost. We have found that this is particularly useful for people thinking about buying sensory equipment as helps them avoid making expensive mistakes.
The items available include:
- vibrating cushions
- star projectors
- tactile toys
- weighted blankets
This is our newest service and is currently offered in schools following a series of visits from the Sensory Bus. One of our Development Workers works alongside school staff with the children to turn a fun and imaginative pastime into an exciting, challenging and structured learning session.
We use the building of LEGO® models to support learners’ speech and language skills as well as social development such as sharing, turn-taking, making eye-contact, and following social rules. Maths skills such as shape and number recognition can also be incorporated. The schools we’ve worked with have found its a great way to reach learners who might not ordinarily engage.
After being visited by the Sensory bus some settings are keen to create their own sensory room or revitalise an existing one. If you would like support in this area we will do our best to help. There may be a small charge for this service but get in touch for a chat about your needs.