North View is a residential care home in West Yorkshire that supports adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. Located in Todmorden, North View is a vibrant and supportive home for six young adults as they access local colleges, work experiences and the local community.
The inspiration for sensory boards
“It’s a beautiful building but we wanted the rooms inside to represent the people who live here.”Richard Mills, Service Manager
The team are always in search of ways to make North View feel even more like home for our residents, and a team member suggested the introduction of a sensory board. Sensory boards – often containing objects like locks, Velcro, zippers and lights – can help people with autism by stimulating their senses. Our team identified that a sensory board had a lot of potential and so, they planned to create a full board for a wall in the lounge area. Even better, residents could be involved in ideas for the board, as well as the crafting of the boards!
Residents were involved in the creation of these interactive boards from day one. The crafting involved painting, woodwork and the fitting of the boards to the wall. By working together as a team, residents continued to build strong relationships with their housemates and team, plus enjoyed the hands-on aspect of the project.
Everybody was encouraged to use their creative flair and freely paint on the board wherever they wanted. The team could see the progression of independence throughout the project and everyone was actively engaging.
Interacting with the wall
All the items on the wall provide residents with a different stimulation. There are items that move, feel a certain way, evoke different feelings, make a noise and don’t make a noise. Following the addition of the sensory boards, the team have seen improved concentration, creativity & problem-solving skills and behaviour from some of the residents. One person even likes to complete the maze on the wall while when discussing his care plan. This is because it helps him to process the information that he is hearing.
Adding to the interactive wall
After seeing the success of the sensory board, North View began to think about what other interactive features they could add to the walls . This led to a white board being installed that had a theme idea of what happened historically during that month. This specific board would highlight key events throughout history that happened within the month, such as the titanic hitting an iceberg or the crowing of Henry VIII. Throughout the month, residents and the team continue to add new facts and dates as they learn, which keeps it as a fun interactive activity.
‘Sometimes within a residential care home, it can feel like you’re in a bubble and residents (and the team) can feel separate to the outside world. So, by introducing a historical aspect to the project and creating an amazing display that promoted the Voyage Care ethos, we can educate our residents and feel more aware of the world around us.Richard Mills, Service Manager
What’s next for North View
Throughout the next few months, North View are planning to introduce a newspaper-themed wall that incorporates up-to-date news articles. This is a continued effort to ensure residents feel aware and knowledgeable about current events. Many of us receive our news through social media, listening to the radio, or reading online, but the people we support don’t necessarily look for those things. This new board will provide them with the opportunity to keep up to date with today’s news in a fun and engaging way. It also offers the opportunity for the house to be creative in the design of the wall too!
“Another planned sensory item will be a talking tile. After touching these tiles, they play a sound; this could be music, a voice, a sound effect, or one of the team saying something! Because it uses multiple senses, our residents find these really interactive and informative. Here at North View, we pride ourselves on being forward thinking for how we can continue to create an inclusive environment where it isn’t just a functional space for our residents, but also represent them.”Richard Mills, Service Manager
Learn more about North View Residential Care Home
Based in Yorkshire, North View is a residential home supporting adults with learning disabilities, autism and complex needs. This also includes enduring mental health conditions, which require support. To find out more visit our North View service page.