London’s Wembley Stadium has unveiled two new multi-purpose sensory rooms for neuro-divergent guests and their families.
The rooms will be used for the first time this weekend as Wembley hosts the men’s and women’s FA Cup finals. The rooms will include traditional sensory equipment and a stadium-first immersive solution to enable Wembley to accommodate guests’ requirements.
Multi-sensory equipment specialist Experia has been engaged to help with the design and installation of the rooms. Music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins has also been consulted.
It is hoped the rooms will provide a safe and comfortable space for guests who normally find the crowded stadium experience challenging. Wembley’s title partner EE has also supported the sensory rooms and will ensure the spaces have full fibre connectivity.
The launch of the rooms will look to create a pathway to enable guests with disabilities to progress and enjoy general-admission events. Wembley said the opening of the spaces makes it the first venue in the country to offer two sensory rooms and the first music facility to launch such an offering.
Matthew Owen, Wembley’s customer engagement manager and lead on disability access planning and provision, said: “To be able to open these spaces at the most iconic multi-purpose venue in the world is a moment of great excitement. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive stadium, and this further reinforces that commitment.
“On a personal level, having been involved in disability access throughout my career and as an adult with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have seen first-hand the benefit these spaces and programmes can bring. I would like to thank everyone who has helped bring these spaces to life – including Experia, Nordoff Robbins, EE and the wider team at Wembley Stadium. I’d also like to acknowledge the efforts of The Shippey Campaign, who worked with Sunderland AFC to bring the first sensory rooms into a football environment.”
Gareth Jones, founder of Experia, added: “We’re delighted to have helped Wembley Stadium design and install their sensory rooms. The use of new technology will ensure that everyone who would love to attend an event or match day is empowered to enjoy their favourite teams and artists perform in a safe, comfortable space with their families.
“It’s been fantastic for us to see such an iconic venue leading the way and we hope it will act as an example to others and be a catalyst for change in other stadia in the UK and further afield.”
Image: Christopher Lee – The FA