Forfar sensory room for autistic children to open by summer

The Rotary Club of Forfar donated �500 to the Pitstop to be used for the development of a sensory room. Pictured are (standing) Dawn Balfour, Wayne Gorman and Ian Findlay with Paula Elvin (Rotary President) and Rhoan.
The Rotary Club of Forfar donated �500 to the Pitstop to be used for the development of a sensory room. Pictured are (standing) Dawn Balfour, Wayne Gorman and Ian Findlay with Paula Elvin (Rotary President) and Rhoan.

Work is progressing well at the autism sensory unit at the Pitstop in Forfar which should be open in time for the school summer holidays.

In only a matter of months the project has attracted wide support from the local community.

Businesses and organisations have donated time and money and, most recently, the electrical work has been completed.

A number of items of furniture have been gifted to the Forfar Drugs Initiative Group (The Pitstop), and Police Scotland Youth Volunteers have assisted in painting the sensory room on the ground floor.

Members of Forfar Rotary Club made a visit to the Pitstop on Wednesday evening to present a cheque for £500.

Rotary President Paula Elvin wished the venture success and commented this was another example of how diverse the work of Rotary is. She asked anyone interested in joining to contact the club using the club website.

The Pitstop opened in 1996 to divert young people away from alcohol, drugs and other substance mis-use. Over the past 20 years the organisation has developed and now offers wider provision to the community.

Recently members have been consulting with Autism Support Angus and Dundee on the new collaborative idea - a permanent venue for a weekly drop-in sensory room and play session for young people on the autistic spectrum.

The Academy Street venue is hoping to provide small group sessions in the soft floored sensory room which will have subdued lighting, quiet space pods and craft sessions and on the upper floor, the usual activities you might expect within a social environment including pool, darts, gaming and other play opportunities.

This will allow children with adult guidance to have fun and develop friendships in a supportive, controlled, structured environment adapted to their sensory needs.

An online booking system has been trialed and will be in operation once the sensory room is opened.

This will allow families to book their slots; it will be the sole responsibility for the parent/carer at the time with Pitstop staff there in a support role.