In 2018, Gatwick Airport marked a groundbreaking milestone as the first UK airport to unveil a Sensory Room—a haven of tranquility designed specifically for passengers with disabilities such as autism, dementia, or cognitive impairment. This calming environment serves as an interactive and secure space for individuals who benefit from a respite amidst the challenges of unfamiliar surroundings.
Creating a Safe Haven: Sensory Room
Gatwick Airport’s Sensory Room, situated in the North Terminal, is not just a room; it’s a carefully crafted sanctuary open between 06:00 and 20:00, providing solace to travelers during their journeys. This wheelchair-accessible haven is free to use for passengers departing from the North Terminal, but pre-booking is essential to secure your spot, ensuring a stress-free experience.
Two Zones of Tranquility: Chill-Out and Interactive
Upon entering the Sensory Room, visitors encounter two distinct zones tailored to their needs. The ‘Chill-Out Zone’ beckons those seeking calm with inviting floor cushions, bean bags, and digital display panels, creating a serene atmosphere. Meanwhile, the ‘Interactive Zone’ engages the senses with tactile panels, textures, and games designed to enhance memory, learning, and motor skills.
A Symphony of Sensory Delights: Features of the Sensory Room
Inside the Sensory Room, a host of features awaits:
- Catherine Wheel Panel: Experience displays of color and sound, reminiscent of mesmerizing firework effects.
- Abstract Tactile Panels: Explore raised and recessed fluid shapes in contrasting textures, offering a tactile feast for the senses.
- Colour Match Panel: Immerse yourself in classical music, mood lighting, and games designed to enhance memory.
- Sound to Light Show: Witness sounds transform into a dazzling spectacle of color, a sensory symphony.
- Waterless Rainbow Tube: Engage with a calming and stimulating color wheel, providing a visual delight.
- Interactive Giant Causeway: Step onto segments that activate colorful lights, making for an interactive experience.
- Activity Board: Encouraging motor movement and coordination through a range of stimulating activities.
- Infinity and Beyond Panel: Visual and auditory effects using an array of shapes and sounds.
Seamless Navigation: How to Find the Sensory Room
Locating the Sensory Room is a breeze. After clearing security in the North Terminal, follow the signs to the ‘Special Assistance’ desk. A dedicated staff member will guide you to the Sensory Room, ensuring a smooth and comfortable transition.
Special Assistance Beyond the Sensory Room
In addition to the Sensory Room, Gatwick Airport offers Special Assistance areas designed for passengers with hidden disabilities. These spaces, accommodating up to 90 people, feature bespoke chairs and soft furnishings, creating a quiet and calm environment for relaxation before a flight.
GRSCorp, continues to prioritize the needs of every traveler. By providing vital information and innovative spaces like the Sensory Room, Gatwick ensures that the journey is not just about reaching a destination but embracing a transformative travel experience for everyone.