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'Sensory rooms will make real difference'

18 Oct 2016
Sunderland's sensory room at the Stadium of Light

Premier League and BT Disability Programme to help clubs aid fans with sensory difficulties

Clubs will be offered the chance to get funding to help fans with sensory difficulties as part of the Premier League and BT Disability Programme.

BT and the Premier League have teamed up with The Shippey Campaign and The Lord’s Taverners, a disability sports charity, to fund sensory rooms across the 20 top-flight clubs to create a calm environment away from the noise and crowds in stadiums.

"The programme is about making sport more inclusive. Providing sensory rooms in football grounds is a way to make a real difference."

Suzy Christopher

Sensory rooms are unique spaces which allow adults and children with difficulties such as autism to watch live matches from a room with a window on to the pitch, allowing them to enjoy fully the action.

“We’re delighted to be working with the Lord’s Taverners and The Shippey Campaign to build comfortable spaces so fans with sensory difficulties can enjoy live sport,” said BT's community and charity director Suzy Christopher.  

“The Premier League and BT Disability Programme is about making sport more inclusive, and providing sensory rooms in football grounds is a practical way to make a real difference.”

Last season, the first sensory room at a club was opened at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, which proved so successful that BT and the Premier League are encouraging other clubs to follow their example.

“This partnership will allow clubs to build on the excellent work they are already doing and enable even more fans to enjoy a live matchday experience," Premier League Executive Director Bill Bush said. 

“The sensory room at Sunderland AFC is a great example of how a matchday experience can be created for fans with sensory difficulties and this partnership will enable more of our clubs to install these areas.”

Premier League clubs can apply for funding at any time throughout the 2016/17 season. For more details on the PL and BT Disability Programme, click here.

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