Premier League football clubs will have the opportunity to apply for funding to help fans with sensory difficulties. The new unique spaces will allow adults and children with sensory difficulties to watch live football matches from a room with a window onto the pitch, in a calm environment away from the noise and crowds. Suzy Christopher, Community & Charity Director, BT said “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. 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.”
The first sensory room at a football club was opened at Sunderland AFC last season in conjunction with Kate and Peter Shippey who were inspired to work with the club so their children and other sports fans on the autism spectrum could enjoy live football at the clubs they support. “We’re delighted that our work with Sunderland AFC has proved so successful and that BT and the Premier League are generously funding and encouraging other football clubs to make practical steps to make sport more inclusive,” said Kate and Peter Shippey, founders of The Shippey Foundation.
Bill Bush, Executive Director, Premier League said: “This partnership will allow clubs to build on the excellent work they are already doing and enable even more fans to enjoy a live match day experience. The sensory room at Sunderland AFC is a great example of how a match day 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.