When our new stadium has been full and rocking so far this season, there was one part of the arena that was shielded from the noise. At the top of the South Stand, in the far west corner, the Club’s Sensory Room offers a full view of the pitch with special glass to protect against the noise. It allows families that might not otherwise be able to come to watch The Bees have access to our matches and it was in use when we beat Arsenal 2-0 on the first day of the Premier League season.
Amber and Jamie Cawte brought their daughters Sophie, Tillie and Alana to the match. Sophie is on the autistic spectrum and can get overwhelmed if the atmosphere around her is too loud or very busy visually. Being in our Sensory Room enabled all the family to attend the match.
Amber said: “The Sensory Room is a fantastic facility to have available and be able to use. The sound from the stadium was still audible and we were able to still be involved with the atmosphere and chants. Sophie is very sound sensory, and it was perfect.
“The style of the room wasn’t overwhelming. Some children, especially Sophie, find busy visual areas hard to process. The lighting was easy to operate, and the range of seating was great, they loved the beanbags!
“My husband and our eldest daughter sit in the West Stand, and they were thankful Sophie was able to use the Sensory Room as can be very very loud in there. I was able to relax and enjoy time with Sophie and Alana in a controlled environment, not having to worry about her anxiety levels, if the noise was too loud, or whether Sophie may wander or run off if things get too much. The whole family gave it a massive double thumbs up.
“Our whole family can’t thank Brentford FC enough for giving Sophie a brilliant atmosphere of calm, with less anxiety, to be able to relax a little and to be able to watch her favourite team. It can be a really tough time for Sophie. If more places did this, then it would be a great world for her to live in.”
Sophie and her family were back in the Sensory Room for the game against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, 11 September. The family were celebrating Sophie’s 11th Birthday.
Brentford FC actively promotes Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in our behaviour, practices and values. We strive to treat everyone fairly and with respect and provide access and opportunities for all members of the community to enjoy their matchday experience with us. For more information on attending matches if you have a disability, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.