Sensory Santa spreads Christmas joy

A BCYF initiative has helped bring Christmas joy to children with sensory sensitivities and their families.

The inaugural ‘Sensory Santa’ was held at GMHBA Stadium from 13-16 December, giving 60 families a fun, interactive and safe Christmas experience within the stadium’s Sensory Zone.

Led by BCYF’s Early Childhood team, the initiative was funded through the organisation’s partnership with the NDIA.

Families had access to a private 20-minute session for their child to interact with Santa in the multi-sensory zone where a range of tailored activities is being provided, with a photographer on hand to capture every moment.

“This is a fantastic initiative supporting local families who have children with sensory sensitivities to have a festive experience,” said BCYF Chief Executive Officer Sandy Morrison.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to participate in Christmas activities, but we know that traditional environments such as shopping centres are not suitable for everyone. Sensory Santa is one way we can help families overcome barriers,” he said.

The GMHBA Sensory Zone is made available on match days for those with sensory needs and was made possible through a partnership between BCYF, the Geelong Cats, Deakin University, Leisure Networks, Gateways Support Services and Kardinia Park Stadium Trust. This ongoing partnership has led to many opportunities for community partnerships including the inaugural Sensory Santa.

Geelong Cats players Gary Rohan and Mikayla Bowen, pictured above, helped kick off the inaugural Sensory Santa at GMHBA Stadium.

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