Since its unveiling late last year, Mansfield Town’s sensory area has helped lots of young children and their families enjoy their experience at One Call Stadium.
The sensory area is located in the award-winning family room and is used to develop and engage senses with special lighting, music and objects.
The area helped towards the Stags being named as the EFL’s Sky Bet League Two Family Club of the Year last season.
Its opening, in November 2018, was made possible thanks to a £6,000 donation from the Stags Supporters’ Association.
A prime example of its effect is brothers Zakk (pictured above with Stags' players Nicky Maynard and Willem Tomlinson), 14, and Corey, 10, who, thanks to the sensory area, can now attend home matches as a family with their parents Steph and Gary Woodlands.
The brothers both have autism, with Zakk’s being so severe that going to a football match had not seemed a possibility until the introduction of the sensory area at One Call Stadium.
Mansfield’s supporters’ liaison officer Danielle Hett said: “Corey has always come to the games but Zakk couldn’t come with him because he finds all the loud noise too much. Thanks to the sensory area Zakk, Corey and their mum and dad can come to games together as a family.
“Zakk spends his time in the sensory area while Corey goes out and watches the game. They managed to get Zakk out in the stands for 20 minutes recently which was a massive achievement.
“It’s incredibly rewarding for us, it’s exactly what we aim to do; seeing the kids having fun and enjoying the football as a family when they couldn’t before makes you feel emotional.”
The Woodlands brothers’ mother, Steph, thanked the club for its help, saying: “Now my boys can do what brothers their age do, go to football matches together.
“They love showing off their artistic flair and relaxing by having fun with the sensory activities in a safe, family-oriented environment.
“We’re part of the Stags' community and we’d encourage any families like ours to come and experience One Call Stadium’s family area for themselves!”
The family area is available to supporters with a valid family ticket, which admits one adult and one child for £18, or two adults and two children for £36.
Each family ticket comes with a Sammy’s voucher which can be redeemed at our family kiosk for a sweet treat. There is also free fruit available in our family room.
If you have any questions about the Stags’ family experience, please contact our supporters’ liason officer Danielle Hett via the email: firstname.lastname@example.org.