Our “Multi-Sensory Magic” residencies are designed for children with complex needs, sometimes described as having profound and multiple learning difficulties, and their parents and carers. These residencies are typically a week or fortnight in length with 5 children and their parents attending for 2 or 3 days. The small groups along with the number of artists [we have 4 artists for a group of 5 children] allow us to tailor the workshops to the specific needs of the children and their parents.
“Magical,enthusiastic, inspiring, a general feeling of wellbeing. I have enjoyed having a special time with Joshua….” Dawn Cunningham – parent
We create multi-sensory spaces, provide lots of time and gently draw people in at a pace that is comfortable for them. We seek to allow the direction of the activities to be led by the participants’ needs and likings. We see it as an integral part of the way we work that the participants are given all the time they need to engage with any of the experiences / activities.
Under The Sea – a “Multi-Sensory Magic” Residency at Loughborough Town Hall, Leicestershire.
This residency for children with complex needs and their parents was devised around the story of The Rainbow Fish. ‘There was once a rainbow fish, who had scales of many beautiful colours, some were shiny and sparkled in the water. This fish thought very highly of himself because he knew he was so beautiful. He loved to play in the water watching his scales light up the sea and shine on the rocks….”
The residency programme
We designed a number of discrete environments within the studio space to allow children to move from one place to another as they wished. The environments included:
The entrance tunnel – a magical tunnel of billowing white clouds and changing lighting effects was full of swirling mist, live music and sea weed dangling from the roof.
The rock pool and beach – lit with hot summer sun the rock pool had star fish, lobsters and shells to explore and was surrounded by sand and shells. Children dangled their feet in the cold water, wriggled their toes in the sand and relaxed with their parents in deck chairs.
The whale’s stomach – a white space with soft mats to sprawl on was entered to the sound of whales.
The octopus’ cave – where children experienced gentle massage and live music
The story / song circle – where we start and end the sessions with – you’ve guessed it – stories and songs
The wave machine – a spinning platform swathed in marine blue material.
- 22 children with complex needs
- 21 parents of the children
- 5 respite carers from the Glenfield Project
- Laura Guthrie, designer, visual artist
- Christopher Davies, facilitator
- Sue Pyecroft, puppeteer, facilitator
- Bob Stafford, drama practitioner
- Debora Collister, singer/facilitator
- Glenys Xavier, actor/masseur
- Kate Rounding, musician
- Rachel Gardner, musician
- Rachael Jeffery, drama practitioner
Julie Hollingworth More testimonials »