Last week Autism Together staff attended the opening of a brand new sensory viewing room at Liverpool FC.
Then, this weekend, our staff and service users were the first people to try the room for size at a live game.
Thanks to a special invite from the club, the group was based in the room for the Liverpool v Southampton fixture on 18 November, where the Reds won by a three goal.
The new sensory room, based in the Kenny Dalglish stand, offers huge windows, with eagle-eye views of the whole pitch, plus a range of sensory equipment including a bubble tube and light unit, a fibre optic carpet and a giant LED bean bag. It’s designed to be a quieter, calmer environment from which people on the spectrum can enjoy the game.
LFC has been working with charity Autism Together towards becoming an Autism Champion, joining more than twenty other organisations across Liverpool which have made commitments to becoming autism friendly.
Yvonne Crowhurst, head of Autism Together’s Autism Training and Advisory Service, said: “It’s fantastic to have such an iconic Liverpool institution as LFC working towards Autism Champion status. It really means something when the big names show they’re listening to the autism community. One in every hundred people in Liverpool are on the autism spectrum and it’s our job to make sure this city shows they are accepted and gives them a warm welcome, whether they’re using public transport, taking in a film, eating out, shopping or going to a game.
“The team at Anfield have demonstrated that small changes can make a huge difference to people on the spectrum. The new sensory room will mean that people with autism can watch a game in their own way. I’m sure the box will be visited, over the years, by many people who never thought they’d be able to come to a match. It’ll bring them and their families so much joy. We hope many more clubs around the country will follow LFC’S lead.”
The sensory room will be available on a trial basis at a number of games during the remainder of the 17/18 season. Fans who would like to access the new facility should register their interest via firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0151 264 2500 (press option 2). Details of your disability will be required.
Tickets for the sensory room will be priced at £40 for the disabled supporter. A complimentary personal assistant ticket will also be provided.
Depending on demand for the facility, a rota will be established amongst registered supporters to ensure that it is made available to as many fans as possible.