Inclusive Access for Children with Additional Needs


Member-led charity, Allsorts, is a beacon of community success in Gloucestershire. Since 2009, the Stroud charity has been providing support and a safe space for families who have children with additional needs. One key aim for Allsorts in 2021 was to provide greater access for children with more complex needs.

Within the Allsorts facility, an Activity Hub was opened in 2018. A variety of fun and interactive activities take place in the Hub including yoga, a toy library, sports classes, sensory and messy playgroups, and a gaming club. The Activity Hub opened with a Changing Rooms facility which included tracking and a portable hoist.

Better Access is a Priority

As the Hub continued to grow in popularity with local children and families, the need for more hoisting became a priority. Allsorts objective is for children to make friends and have fun with others. However, when the sensory room was full, with one child using the current hoisting solution, this meant delays for other children to access hoisting to easily participate in activities. To meet their objective, the team realised that a better hoisting solution was necessary.

Allsorts Toy Library Manager, Andrew Voss, commented on the solution achieved to their access challenge:

“Thanks to the installation team from TVM Cheltenham Ltd, we now have this huge seven-metre-long tracking in the main space, making it so much easier for children with complex needs to access everyday activities. Now, without needing to use a mobile hoist, one child can play in the sensory room, and we can help three or four other children, who require hoisting, out of their chairs. For some children, the setup time is longer. With the new solutions, the waiting time for these children is less, giving them more time to access the activities and have fun. These progressive changes will allow us to provide more activities and access for extra children with complex needs, giving us greater scope to increase the number of children into sessions.”

Outside the Box Thinking

During the improvement phase at the Activity Hub, the new tracking hoist was installed in conjunction with sensory lighting panels. From quote to completion, the total project was accomplished in six months, with installation taking place during the February lockdown.

“We started getting quotes and funding in October 2020. We selected TVM Cheltenham Ltd who not only offered the best quote, but it was largely due to Matt, who creatively solved a few challenging problems. The lockdown proved to be the ideal time to get the project work done. Upon reopening, it was a big surprise for all our members and a considerable change to the space, which we were all delighted to see.”

Delivering a Complete Service

Achieving a positive outcome to any project, large or small, is ultimately what you want to happen. As we know, a project like the tracking hoist installation can pose problems. When you work with an experienced and creative thinking team, who see obstacles as positive challenges, it is amazing how much of a difference the outcome can be.

“Working with Kevin, Matt and the team is superb. From personal experience before the Allsorts project, as my son also has additional needs, Kevin had expertly installed five hoists for us. Each time the service was impeccable.

As a company, TVM Cheltenham Ltd is friendly, easy to chat to, always willing to help, and their level of expertise, particularly when it involves tracking hoists and general mobility equipment, is exceptional. I have not found a company that delivers a better complete service than TVM Cheltenham Ltd. The team is innovative and solution-focused, knowledgeable, and experienced. It is a pleasure to work with Kevin, Matt, and the team, as they exceed expectations through their personal support, advice, and warm approach. I highly recommend TVM Cheltenham Ltd as one of the best companies in any business I have been associated with, in my life.”

Not Just Any Space

The fundamental outcome of the Allsorts project is the new space created for children and their families, and the staff at the centre. This is not just any space. It is a space that makes a real difference; a space that makes it as easy as possible for children to access activities; a space with vast scope to provide a multitude of inclusive opportunities for all.

“As we plan new sessions and introduce a range of clubs, we may need to expand the space in our facility. Depending on funding, should we pursue this path, we are sure to be asking TVM Cheltenham Ltd to quote on hoisting.

Right now, we are pleased to see the happy faces of children and their families as they interact and enjoy the new space. Together, we can realise our dream to become a high-functioning centre where children can access everything because of innovative hoisting solutions.”

Discover how TVM Cheltenham Ltd can enable you with a winning mobility solution. Visit our website or contact our friendly team on 01454 501121.

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