A BRAINTREE school’s ‘dream’ to create a wellbeing room facility is now a reality after a housing association donated thousands of pounds.

John Ray Infants School, in Notley Road, has received a £5,000 donation from the Eastlight Community Homes grant.

With the funding, the primary school has been able to revamp one of its rooms, kitting it out with sensory toys, instruments, a quiet corner, calming music and videos.

Pastoral lead Nikki Lee is delighted with the new space.

Braintree and Witham Times: Enjoying the space - a pupil in the wellbeing room's quiet cornerEnjoying the space - a pupil in the wellbeing room's quiet corner (Image: Steve Brading)

She said: “When I got the phone call from Eastlight to say we’d get the money, I was on holiday and I started dancing on the beach, It’s been my dream for 20 years.

“This space supports mental health, nurture, children with special development needs and a general space to offload in.

"It’s ideal for children with autism, but it’s also great for neuro-typical children too.”

One of the school’s special educational needs learning support assistants, Kerrie Felstead, loves holding specialist sessions in the room.

Kerrie normally holds a sensory-led activity in the room for children with autism where they can watch items being pulled out of the 'autism bucket’.

She says children "love the bucket", which leads to interest in other activities and helps with their growth.

Braintree and Witham Times: Happy - John Ray Infants School students in the roomHappy - John Ray Infants School students in the room (Image: Steve Brading)

Eastlight Community Homes is a housing association.

Eastlight Residents Group is made up of volunteers who meet regularly to identify and fund improvements in the community, and the money for the wellbeing space came from them.

Black Notley resident Robert Yates is part of the Eastlight Residents Group and said: “We were so proud to fund this incredible initiative that makes such a difference to these children.

“It’s been great working with the staff from the school. They are passionate and care so much about their students.”

The Eastlight Residents Group has supported the school in the past, helping provide funding for a water wall, an area for the use of scooters and bikes, a sand area, toys, bikes, helmets and more.

Any community projects or organisations that are looking for funding or improvement are urged to email customer.services@eastlighthomes.co.uk or call 0330 128 0330.