A new safe sensory space for families has opened at the Easie Living Centre in Main St.

Equipment and materials that can stimulate or soothe the senses through light, sound and touch, have been installed in the centre which provides a safe and engaging space for families to explore.

Research shows that sensory spaces such as this can help with language development, improved co-ordination and motor development and an increase in calmness.

Mayor Grant Smith and Enable NZ general manager Michelle Riwai opened the new space this week.

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This new initiative contains an array of equipment and materials that allows the user to control their environment.

They can stimulate their senses with a range of different objects, textures, things to touch and move, and sounds.

Enable NZ business development manager Andrea Crutchley who managed the project alongside Easie Living Centre manager Demelsa Burnand said they felt there was an
opportunity to provide a sensory space for those who were looking for a safe space to explore.

"We've worked closely with organisations locally such as Altogether Autism, Autism NZ, Parent to Parent and Mana Whaikaha to determine what kind of resources could be included.

"We're really looking forward to welcoming families into the space to see what they think.

"We're so grateful to a range of suppliers who have provided their products for the benefit of the sensory space," says Demelsa.

"We've got things like a fabulous bubble tube, weighted blankets and toys, bean bags, a textured wall and a board full of switches to interact with."

Mayor Smith said the sensory space was "a fantastic addition to Palmerston North, and I'm sure that kids and families will absolutely love it."

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"We're keen to see what the feedback is so we can assess the benefits and needs of more of these spaces across our city."

The space is free to visit, and is open to everyone, young and old who feel they would benefit from the sensory features.

"It's a work in progress," explains Andrea.

"Over time we will refine it and develop it further depending on the feedback we receive. We're at the early stages of this project and look forward to engaging with the community around this."

The sensory space is available to book for one-hour slots, Monday to Friday and is completely free to use.

To book or find out more information call 06 353 2743 or email enquiries@easieliving.co.nz.

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Easie Living is at 585 Main St. There is limited free customer parking outside, or numerous two-hour parks in the roads surrounding the centre.