Accessible Arts and Media receives Gannett Foundation grant

York Press: Rose Kent, of Accessible Arts and Media Rose Kent, of Accessible Arts and Media

A SMALL arts charity based in York has received a £7,000 grant from The Press’s parent company.

Accessible Arts and Media has won a grant from the Gannett Foundation to help its work with adults and young people who have multiple disabilities.

The charity, which works out of Burton Stone Community Centre, is to use the funds to extend a pioneering programme of multi-sensory therapy.

Managing director Rose Kent said the money would help them reach many more people with the IMUSE – interactive multisensory environment.

She said: “It’s absolutely fantastic, and the fact it has come at time when it is hard for all charities is even better.

“It’s a meaningful grant that will make a significant difference to our most disabled participants.”

The project involves an interactive multi-sensory environment in a “room within a room” set up in a gazebo inside the community centre. It gives the participants who have profound and multiple disabilities a safe and isolated environment, away from distractions.

“We can all get sensory overload sometimes, and for our guys that is more serious,” she said.

The equipment lets them do things like blowing into microphones to create sounds, and away from distractions it is easier for them to make connections between their actions and the sounds made.

“It’s quote amazing to see the change in people in the IMUSE,” said Rose. “When they go into the room they might be quite anxious but the difference after 20 minutes can be quite amazing.”

The Gannett grant will cover the cost of new visual and vibro-acoustic equipment and Rose is now applying for funds to run the programme.

“If we get the money to run the programme, we will be able to work with 50 to 100 people each year – more than double the current numbers,” she said.

The Gannett Foundation awards grants to community groups in areas served by their newspapers – including schemes for economic development, youth work, education, culture and help for disabled and disadvantaged people.


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