Town proud to launch new Inclusion Room at the John Smith’s Stadium
- Inclusion Room launched at John Smith’s Stadium
- Available to supporters with additional and specific needs
- Comments from Head of Supporter Services Robyn Kennerdale
We are proud to share details of our newly launched Terriers Together Inclusion Room at the John Smith’s Stadium!
In the planning for some time, the Club has developed a special space within the John Smith’s Stadium to help supporters with additional and specific needs to enjoy the match day experience at Huddersfield Town in an inclusive environment.
The room - which has been converted from two adjoining hospitality boxes - has been completely refitted to allow for an unrestricted view of the pitch, featuring separate areas both indoor and outdoor, which can be used depending on individual preference.
There is a quiet space and a separate dark room with an array of sensory equipment and toys, which may be particularly beneficial to supporters and/or individuals with Autism or other sensory processing needs. To maximise comfort, the room has been decorated with bean bags and soft throws, to provide additional seating and warmth if required.
As part of the launch, the first episode of our new Terriers Together Talks series shines a spotlight on the Inclusion Room featuring Head of Football Operations Leigh Bromby, a patron of the Kids Out charity that kindly gave advice and donated funds to contribute to the costs of the sensory equipment.
He was joined by Head of Goalkeeping Paul Clements and first team player Lee Nicholls – who both have close family with Autism – to take a look around the space alongside Head of Supporter Services Robyn Kennerdale, sharing their thoughts on the impact the room will make.
Head of Supporter Services Robyn Kennerdale commented:
“The idea behind the Inclusion Room was to try and create a safe and controlled environment for people with a wide range of different needs to be able to enjoy a match; some who may not otherwise have been able to have this experience in another area of the Stadium.
“Our ‘Terriers Together’ campaign encapsulates all our equality-related work and our commitment to being an inclusive Club, and it is our hope is that the Inclusion Room can be used by people with needs relating to disability, people who have long-term or limiting health conditions, people in end-of-life care and so on.
“It has been absolutely wonderful to welcome guests into the room already and to hear the feedback from those whom it has helped.”
Having been quietly opened already, the space has been used by Kirklees Council’s Support for People with Autism group, members of the Foundation’s Sporting Memories Reminiscence group, females from local community group Ready Steady Active, as well as three local children with additional needs, two of whom came for their first ever experience of a football match.
Our new Inclusion Room now has a permanent place on the Club website, with all of the neccessary information easily accessible. CLICK HERE to find out more.
As well as helping to ensure that the room was as functional and inclusive as possible, these first visitors were also able to provide us feedback – such as:
Guest one: “My Grandson has already asked me when we can go to a game again! I don’t think he would be able to manage a match in the general seating area, so having the opportunity to be able to move between the three different spaces really helped. Overall, it was a brilliant day and quite an experience for a young boy who has quite a lot to deal with every day, for whom this was really special.”
Guest two: “My son had a great time in the Inclusion Room, it allowed him to experience something that would usually have been hard for him to access. He was able to use the rooms interchangeably and it gave him space to move. It allowed us as a family to enjoy the match day together without having to worry. This is an incredible space and I honestly can’t thank Huddersfield Town enough for thinking about and developing this.”
The Club would like to extend a huge thank you to the charity Kids Out who supported with the purchase of some of the sensory equipment. For further details on the Inclusion Room, including booking enquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Club’s ‘Terriers Together campaign’ please CLICK HERE.