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New bespoke wellbeing facility opens at Doncaster Deaf Trust

A specialist wellbeing room, to support the mental health and enrichment of young people with communication difficulties, has officially been opened at Doncaster Deaf Trust.
The space, which supports students at the Trust’s Communication Specialist College Doncaster, was funded by a number of key partners including: the Hospital Saturday Fund; VCSF Fund; Co-op Local Community Fund; Arnold Clark Community Fund; and the South Yorkshire Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. Meanwhile, contributions also came in from special activities earlier this year, like the Doncaster 10k.
On hand to unveil the warmly welcomed space at the college was Dr Alan Billings, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, who was joined by a host of other partners and college staff and students.
The demand for this new facility is very real, with the college’s diverse cohort of students, ranging from aged 16-25, having a variety of needs including deafness, hearing impairment, autistic spectrum conditions and learning difficulties. Some students may have complex needs and require additional support to maintain their good mental health and wellbeing due to high levels of anxiety, diagnosis of mental health conditions or more simply needing support to build their self-esteem and confidence. The recent pandemic has significantly heightened the challenges faced by these students.
To help them emotionally, the new Wellbeing Room provides a safe and quiet space for young people to experience therapeutic and wellbeing activities. The room was completely refurbished and soundproofed while new flooring also enables the area to be enjoyed as a dance and yoga studio. Cutting-edge equipment also enables students to compose their own music via a form of sound, vibration and light therapy. It is accessible to all abilities and complements the fully equipped gym with sports equipment.
Fully qualified and well-trained staff will also deliver sessions in a total communication environment including British Sign Language.
Rebecca Loosemore, assistant principal at Communication Specialist College Doncaster, said, “We’d really like to start by saying a special thank you to everyone who helped make this happen whether it be people who fundraised for us or the organisations, such as the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and Hospital Saturday Fund. who donated much-needed funds.

"It was lovely to welcome them all, including Dr Billings, to the centre so they could see the centre for themselves! They have all made such as difference to the lives of our students and everyone here is so excited about this new space.
“Our students can face a number of challenges, so to have a dedicated area where we know their emotional wellbeing and mental health can be supported is so beneficial both in their short term but also in their lifelong journeys.
“Relaxation, exercise and therapeutic activities are proven to benefit our students and build the resilience they need to benefit from their learning more fully and underpin their progress and achievement. It’s important they learn how to can cope with the stress and challenges they can experience in their everyday lives, as well as having further opportunities to develop new hobbies and interests as well as establishing valuable friendships.”
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m pleased to be here today to see the opening of the new wellbeing facility.
“My community grants scheme provides funding for a range of projects across South Yorkshire and this new facility will be invaluable in helping to support those with additional needs including deafness, hearing impairment, autistic spectrum conditions and learning difficulties.
“Those supported by this new facility will have faced difficult times throughout the pandemic and I look forward to seeing how they benefit from the Deaf Trust.”

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