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At Bedford, we strive to be a place of positive change and are excited about the future, knowing that we can improve the lives and experiences of people living with disability.

With your help, one of the ways we can do this is by creating sensory spaces for our clients at our Bedford sites. These spaces are designed for respite and are an important component of workplaces, especially for individuals who may need help regulating the effects of external stimuli.

Sensory spaces assist Bedford clients with autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, and a variety of developmental challenges and special needs.

The benefits are immeasurable, with rooms used for calming, socialisation, improved focus, and motor skill, sensory and cognitive development.

This is a significant and important project for Bedford and our clients, but with whole fit outs required to accommodate specialised equipment, this vital exercise is costly.

For Dwayne who attends Bedford’s Whyalla site three days a week, the sensory space is a quiet area for him to take a break. Dwayne was diagnosed on the autism spectrum at an early age.

When he was 17, he was hit by a car while riding his bike and acquired a brain injury. This unfortunately exacerbated his condition, affected his mental health and ability to work in open employment.

Dwayne expresses himself through his poetry, painting and playing music. His poem ‘The Gift’ emphasises the importance of inclusivity and the acceptance and support he’s found at Bedford.

Click here to read 'The Gift' - a poem by Dwayne

“The lights in here are a distraction from whatever is around me. Focusing on objects like the bubble light I can just focus on one thing. The sounds, bright colours, or watching the bubbles move brings me back into the present. This distracts my mind and calms me right down because I’m not thinking about what has wound me up. It’s strangely beautiful.”

— Dwayne

While Bedford offers a sensory room at our Whyalla and Panorama sites, we have a vision and commitment to create respite spaces at all Bedford sites.

We ask you to contribute to the development of these facilities to support our 1300 clients. Please, join us at tax time in giving Bedford’s people the sensory space they need.

“For people with a heavy sensory disability, or as I call them, gifts of sorts, spaces like this are hugely beneficial. They give us a safe haven. It’s nice to come to work or Day Options just knowing that this space is available and here if I need it. It’s a massive comfort.”

— Dwayne
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