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Published on Wednesday 11 March, 2020

The arrival of several new team members at our Wallsend Community Hub has been met with delight by our customers. 

Elephant, Rhino, Giraffe, Horses and Kangaroos have settled into their new roles in the hubs garden, while at the time of our visit Chimpanzee was still in her crate, possibly awaiting her orientation briefing.  

Patrick Wilsmore, State Leader NSW North and Regional NSW said the use of statues and sculptures as therapeutic tools for people on the autism spectrum was proven. It is similar to the current practices associated with Animal Therapy for people with special needs. 

“It’s known to have a calming effect, and it’s something different and interesting for all of our customers to engage with.  Some our customers may not have had the opportunity to see these animals in zoos or in the wild, so it’s nice to offer them the opportunity to get close in a relaxed and non-threatening way. 

Some of our Wallsend Hub customers will get the opportunity to engage even more deeply with the statues when some are painted as part of art therapy.  An established local artist will also be invited to bring one of the statues to life with bright and vivid colours. 

Patrick said providing tactile and sensory opportunities to our customers in engaging and unique ways was something Lifestyle Solutions was committed to.  

This will be a further extension of our current sensory rooms at the local Hub which are located indoors, and we are now focusing on sensory spaces outdoors. 

“The Wallsend Community Hubstatues are based around a safari theme.  We have dinosaur statues based on a prehistoric theme planned for our Foster Community Hub, and a superhero or cartoon themed collection in the pipeline for a third location.   It’s a simple concept, but it brings great joy and benefit to everyone involved.”  

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