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Experience five minutes of peace in Brunel's new Sensory Room


A new Sensory Room has been unveiled on campus at Brunel University London, offering students with complex needs a place to go in order to limit or enhance their senses – giving a boost to their wellbeing and their capacity to learn.

The space is one of the first at a UK university, and is designed to benefit students with mental health difficulties such as autism and anxiety, or sensory processing issues: difficulties with organising and responding to information that comes in through the senses.

Move around the Sensory Room in this 360° video: 5 minutes of peace. You can open it in YouTube.
(360° videos work best in newer versions of web browsers.)

"Some people have an over-sensitivity, while others have an under-sensitivity," said Raven Pratt, Brunel's Head of Student Wellbeing. "This space is a unique and valuable resource for our students to benefit from sensory stimulation, or from reduction."

Access to the room is limited to students who have been assessed by the Student Wellbeing department. These students receive a full introduction to the space and the equipment, to learn how they individually can benefit most from what the Sensory Room has to offer.

Increasingly common at primary and secondary schools, the concept of controlled multisensory environmental therapy was developed in the 1970s in the Netherlands. It's been applied to various settings, with recent studies by Brunel occupational therapy researcher Dr Lesley Collier showing promise for stress reduction and enhanced performance for mental health nurses, and for anxiety reduction as part of dementia care.

"Providing students with this room will greatly improve their overall wellbeing and mood, allowing them to enjoy their time at university," said Raven. "It creates a space, separate to their own living space, in which to relax, study and engage their senses."

The Sensory Room, together with a quiet seating area for sensory reduction, was designed by Emma Peacock in 2016/17 as her final-year project for her BA in Industrial Design and Technology, in response to an initial brief from Brunel's Disability and Dyslexia Service.


Emma Peacock's design for the Sensory Room

"I'm so pleased that the Sensory Room has come to life," said Emma. "The project seemed like an exciting opportunity to do work outside of my usual design field, and something that would have a direct impact on the students around me – and future Brunel students too."

Find out more about the range of support available to students at Brunel.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations
+44 (0)1895 268821