Liko hoisting and tracking systems play a unique part in ensuring The Alan Shearer Centre can realise its goal of being accessible to all children, regardless of disability.
The Newcastle based facility, designed to offer a place where children can escape from the harsh realities of dealing with a disability, provides a wide range of indoor and outdoor leisure activities for families to enjoy with a disabled relative.
Liko was delighted to be involved in the initial consultation process and was able to advise throughout the development stages of the centre. As Liko was involved from the very beginning, an extremely effective overhead tracking system was planned that was specifically tailored to fulfil the needs of the users.
The Centre’s Deputy Manager Rod Molineux explained, "The Liko overhead tracking systems we have in place are fantastic; without it, we wouldn’t be able to function in the way we want to. The centre has only been open for two years but is already a hub for community projects and activities for disabled and able bodied children. Our visitors range from those with mild learning disabilities to those with severe spinal injuries, and we want to maintain access for all of them. The tracking system is often favourably commented on in our feedback forms as other activity centres either have no tracking or only limited hoisting equipment.
The Likorall overhead tracking system has been installed throughout the downstairs of the activity centre and in two of the eight bedrooms of the residential short break facility on the second floor. The benefit of such a system is tangible for the children who use the centre and allow them a great deal more freedom than they would otherwise have, including easier access to and fuller participation in the activities on offer.
For example, in the blue room of the sensory cave, wheelchair users can be transported on the overhead tracking to the warm water filled mattress – the perfect place to relax while listening to computer generated sounds and watching pictures designed to stimulate memories, emotions and feeling. The equipment also grants wheelchair users unfettered enjoyment of the cinema, where the audience can relax on specialist seating beanbags with speakers incorporated into them. This enables vibrations to be felt through the body for a profound sensory experience. Liko systems have also been installed in the hydrotherapy pool and changing rooms, ensuring that children can be effortlessly moved from the changing area to the pool.
An additional purpose of the centre was to serve as a place of temporary respite and support for carers. There is an on-site Ofsted registered crèche open every Saturday morning, residential accommodation for slightly longer breaks, the opportunity to socialise with other carers and, of course, the Liko system which eliminates the need to manually carry children – particularly older and therefore heavier ones - around from activity to activity.
Rod continued "in addition to its fantastic range of products, Liko also offers an unrivalled level of after care service. Our Liko area representative Gemma Nichol is always contactable to resolve any technical or operator queries we may have, and this peace of mind is priceless to us.
More details on the Alan Shearer Centre are available at www.alanshearercentre.org.uk