Lincolnshire learning disability charity awarded £370k grant for sensory library project

Lincolnshire learning disability charity Linkage Community Trust has been awarded a grant of over £370,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

The money will be used to set up multi-sensory library facilities to help young people and adults with education, health or care needs across Greater Lincolnshire.

The funding of £371,821 from the Reaching Communities programme will create five new jobs comprising a project co-ordinator, development workers, driver/technical administrator and a graphic designer.

Scheduled to begin alongside Linkage‘s 40th anniversary year in January 2016, the library is a three year project.

It’s hoped the project will encourage young people and adults with learning disabilities, autism, dementia and other health conditions, to gain learning development and therapeutic benefits from a range of multi-sensory resources.

Features will include a specially-adapted, fully-accessible project bus which will house both sensory room and digital technology.

This bus can travel around the county delivering roadshows and pre-arranged events to Lincolnshire schools, special educational needs’ (SEN) units and disability/parent carer groups.

It can also go to respite care centres and dementia and palliative care centres, to maximise the benefit to as many potential users as possible.

Resources will also include tactile story books, Easy Read resources, CDs and DVDs, ultra-violet products, music equipment, mirror balls, interactive bubble tubes, projectors, switch systems, vibrating shapes, light cubes, eye-gaze technology and iPad applications.

Library resources will also be stored at three Linkage sites – at Lincoln, the Linkage College Weelsby Road Campus in Grimsby and Toynton All Saints near Spilsby.

They can can be loaned to individuals, families, education, training, health and social care providers, including those working in dementia and palliative care settings.

Project Manager Linda Grant said: “The bus means that we can bring the library to beneficiaries across Greater Lincolnshire and to major events in the community.

“This will make it much easier for individuals, organisations and schools to access, enjoy and gain real benefit from the sensory resources and facilities. Our beneficiaries are often the furthest away from opportunity and employment and are less visible in their communities.

“So this project gives a massive boost to the resources and facilities available to these individuals and their families, so they can become more confident and independent.”

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund, England Grant-Making Director, added: “Providing people with learning disabilities with access to specialist equipment is a typical example of a project which will make a huge difference to the lives of many.”