THE mayor of Worcester has helped open the first stage of a major renovation project at a therapy centre for people with learning disabilities.

Councillor Roger Berry performed the ribbon cutting ceremony at Worcester Snoezelen to unveil its refurbished White Room.

The largest sensory room at the centre in Turnpike Close, St John’s, has been kitted out with state-of-the-art fibre optic lights, projectors, bubble boxes and interactive sound equipment, as well as being made more accessible for wheelchair users.

The revamp is the first stage of the centre’s £300,000 Big Build Appeal, which will see an extension built onto the existing site in a bid to improve services for its users and enable more people to access the charity’s work.

Penny Brazier, who founded Worcester Snoezelen nearly 20 years ago, said: “It’s fantastic to see the centre so well used.

“More and more people are coming from farther afield and the project will also provide more facilities for them. “It’s been fantastic to watch the centre grow all based upon the needs of the people who use it.

“The users have all been really knocked out by the White Room.

“A lot of our users have come here since they were children and it’s very much a part of their progress over their lives and for a lot of them it’s a big part of their lives, and now they’re going to have more to look forward to.”

Chief executive Jane Roberts said: “The company TFH installed the equipment in the room and it has been really supportive.

“We’re really proud of the new room and it’s just wonderful to know how much people get out of it.”

Members of Droitwich Lions Club were among the guests invited to the opening, where they handed over a cheque for £1,200 which was raised during the Christmas period.

More than 1,500 people of all ages visit Worcester Snoezelen each year for a range of therapeutic and creative activities, including multi-sensory interaction, music making, arts, disability sports, drama, dance, massage and hydrotherapy. The Big Build Appeal will also see the replacement of its jacuzzi and fixed hoist with a hydro-pool and overhead hoisting, a larger music room and an activity space for social clubs, drama, arts activities, training and sports.

For more information on how to donate, call 01905 748299 or visit worcester