The new sensory room, which will be based in the Kenny Dalglish Stand, will comprise a range of specialist equipment and has been created to enable people with a sensory need such as autism to experience football matches in a comfortable environment suitable for their needs.
Some of the newly purchased portable equipment includes; a sensory portable bubble tube and light unit, fibre optic carpet, a projector and an LED bean bag.
The new facility was made possible by funding from the Premier League and BT, who working with the Shippey Campaign, want to encourage the creation of sensory rooms at all Premier League clubs.
This followed the successful introduction of a sensory room at Sunderland AFC in 2015-16, which enabled Nathan Shippey, who has autism, to experience football matches in a comfortable and appropriate environment. LFC are the fourth top-flight club to open a sensory room, and utilise the funding of specialist equipment from the Premier League and BT.
The first official use of the new sensory room, which will be able to accommodate four fans and four carers at a time, will take place at the Reds’ fixture against Southampton on Saturday.
Simon Thornton, LFC’s diversity and inclusion officer, said: “We are delighted to be officially launching our new sensory room, which has been in development for a while. We are committed to being as inclusive and accessible as possible and we believe that this new facility will provide more of our fans with the opportunity to experience watching a live game at Anfield.
”I would like to thank Autism Together for their advice and guidance on our new facility and the Premier League and BT for their generous donation, which has made this project possible.”
Yvonne Crowhurst, head of charity Autism Together's Autism Training and Advisory Service, added: "It's fantastic to have such an iconic Liverpool institution as Liverpool FC on board as an Autism Champion. It really means something when the big names show they're listening to the autism community. One in every 100 people in Liverpool are on the autism spectrum and it's our job to make sure this city shows they are accepted and gives them a warm welcome, whether they're using public transport, taking in a film, eating out, shopping or going to a game.
"The team at Anfield have demonstrated that small changes can make a huge difference to people on the spectrum. The new sensory room will mean that people with autism can watch a game in their own way, in a quieter, calmer environment. I'm sure the box will be visited, over the years, by many people who never thought they'd be able to come to a match. It'll bring them and their families so much joy. We hope other clubs around the country will follow Liverpool FC's lead."
The sensory room will be available on a trial basis at a number of games during the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Fans who would like to access the new facility should register their interest via email@example.com. Details of your disability will be required.
Tickets for the sensory room will be priced at £40 for the disabled supporter. A complimentary personal assistant ticket will also be provided.
Depending on demand for the facility, a rota will be established amongst registered supporters to ensure that it is made available to as many of our fans as possible.
For more information about accessing the sensory room fans should contact the disability ticketing team on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0151 264 2500 (press option 2).