On 21st September 2022, the Birmingham Special Educational Needs and Disability Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) launched a newly renovated space to benefit hundreds of children and their families. The ‘POD’ revamp was part of a community programme delivered but UK charity, Dreams Come True.  

We asked Ibrahim, a Social Work Practice Supervisor in the SEND Early Help team, about it.

Why is it important to have the SENDIASS POD within the community?   

I believe the SENDIASS POD for the community is ideal; not only is it ideal for the immediate community but also for the surrounding areas where many Children with SEND reside and can attend and visit easily. The location is ideal for all.

The POD already has many activities taking place during holidays, including sports activities, those attending the mobile library, community projects such as community clean-ups with adults and children, as well as indoor sports such as table tennis and other games for families to engage and get involved in.

The POD is open during term time and holidays, and with this added Sensory room, it will encourage parents to feel comfortable in bringing their children who have SEND needs to visit too and not feel marginalised. They will be able to interact and use the facilities and have a sense of relaxed feeling away from the outside world. It will give the parents the opportunity to seek support from SENDIASS whilst their children are engaging in play.  

How will the space revamp improve the experience of a child with a disability, serious illness or life-limiting condition who uses the SENDIASS POD space? 

I believe the pod space, lighting and area are separate from the main office and will allow children with SEND to enjoy the space and feel relaxed. The space already brings a sense of peace, freshness, colour, creative imagination, and pleasure to those that visit. It would help create a safe space for children and young people as well as their parents.  

As a member of the POD team using the space, how has the revamp affected how you use the area, has it had an impact on your day to day-to-day work experience? 

I believe we now have a space where we can invite children with SEND and not feel worried about how comfortable they may feel. We can now do regular direct work with families and help parents, children, and young people feel more welcome and happier.                                

What do you think is the best improvement to the room makeover and why?   

The creative drawings and mural on the wall, the specific furniture to meet the needs of the child (bearing in mind safety measures), and the light tubes. The sensory bubble tubes are relaxing to watch and can entice children and young people with their movement and changes in colour.  

Read more about the POD here.