Primary school funded £5,000 for “dream” wellbeing room

Four children playing with play-dough and smiling

Primary school children are enjoying a new wellbeing space, following a £5,000 donation by Eastlight residents.

The revamped room at John Ray Infants School in Braintree now has sensory toys, instruments, a quiet corner and calming music and videos.

Funding came from our Eastlight Residents Group, a group of volunteers who meet regularly to identify and fund improvements in the local community.

Nikki Lee, the school’s Pastoral Lead, said: “When I got the phone call from Eastlight to say we’d get the money, I was on holiday, and I started dancing on the beach! It’s been my dream for 20 years.

“This space supports mental health, nurture, children with special development needs and a general space to offload in. It’s ideal for children with autism, but it’s also great for neuro-typical children too.”

Kerrie Felstead, a SEN 1:1 Learning Support Assistant, loves having sessions in the room where children with autism can watch items being pulled out of the “The Autism Bucket”. She said: “The children love the bucket, and this then leads to interest in other activities. I can see them grow and grow.”

Robert Yates, who lives in Black Notley and is on the residents’ group, said: “We were so proud to fund this incredible initiative that makes such a difference to these children. It’s been great working with the staff from the school - they are passionate and care so much about their students.”

It’s not the first time that the group has supported the school, providing funding for a water wall within their water area, an area for the use of scooters, bikes and small games, a sand area and a mud kitchen, as well as toys, bikes and helmets and more.

Need funding for your community project or improvement? One of our residents’ groups may be able to help you – just contact us here