A Derry shopping centre has established a new sensory room for children and young people with autism.

Foyleside Shopping Centre is expected to officially open the facility in the near future.

People with autism can find the noise and crowds in the city centre very overwhelming, but a sensory room can provide comfort and calm.

SDLP Ballyarnett Councillor Angela Dobbins, who has been working to encourage businesses across the City to become more Autism aware, has congratulated Foyleside on the move.

“Having previously brought a motion to Council encouraging all of us to raise awareness of Autism and its complexities, including appealing to businesses in the City to become more Autism aware, I sincerely welcome this move from Foyleside Shopping Centre in establishing a new Sensory Room,” she commented.

“The motion sought to encourage businesses to embark upon having a designated area where children and young people with Autism could have some quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle of daily shopping so it is fantastic to see this move from Foyleside Shopping Centre.

“This dedicated facility is for for children and young people who may struggle with difficult moments associated with Autism while out and about.”

The new room is situated at the back of the food quarter and will be launched soon.

“Although it has not yet been officially opened, a member of staff will be able to open it on request," added Councillor Dobbins.

“I would like to once again congratulate the management and staff for embarking on the necessary training and the concept and design of the Sensory Room. I would be hopeful that other businesses will soon follow their example.”

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