Young people enjoying the sensory space at Spree Central

Additional Needs provision at Spree

6th Sep 2022

This summer I was privileged to be able to serve at two very different Spree weekends, the camping festival style of Spree South West with its funfair, and the outward bounds adventure style of Spree Central held at Rock UK’s Frontier Centre. Both included a diverse range of young people, some with additional needs, all on a unique journey with God. Providing a sensory safe space at Spree gave all of the young people a chance to enjoy the weekend at their own pace, with the opportunity to take time out to be in a quieter, more relaxed space.

We offered a place to just ‘chill’, a blackout den for anyone wanting to shut everything out for a bit, relaxing sensory experiences including bubbles, buckets of water beads and gunge to put their hands in, as well as colouring and painting. Ear defenders were available for anyone struggling with loud noise, and fidget toys were provided to help young people to regulate their sensory overload. We had some graphic Bibles to explore, gentle music playing, and natural lighting.Supported by volunteers who gave some of their time at Spree to help serve the young people in the sensory safe space, we were also able to chat with leaders about how to make what they do in their own settings more accessible, inclusive, and a place where everyone belongs.

“This space made it possible for my son to enjoy Spree a couple of years ago and would be essential if he were to go again. It also meant that my husband and I could take the rest of the youth group. Thank you.”Spree Central group leader

"Thank you so much for coming to SPREE SW this weekend - Was brilliant to have you with us as ever - Really appreciate you coming.” - Spree SW Leader

f you would like help with how to enable your residential, group, or church, to better include young people with additional needs, please get in touch.

Mark Arnold - Additional Needs Ministry Director