Venue View, a photography company that creates 360˚ walkthroughs of hotels and venues has produced a stunning virtual tour of the Caudwell International Children’s Centre, the UK’s first independent purpose-built facility dedicated to providing multi-disciplinary assessment, support and research of neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism.
The centre opens its doors to the public on Thursday 16th May. It’s hoped that the informative virtual walkthrough will better prepare children for visits to the centre ahead of an assessment for autism.
Keith McMahon, the Owner of Venue View in Tring, Hertfordshire, chose to support the charity, which provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families, because his six-year-old son Max has autism.
“Max was diagnosed at the age of three,” explained Keith. “Although he is manages well he does rely on additional support for social interaction.
“He initially attended the Puzzle Centre, in Buckingham, as they deliver early intervention for autistic children but now he goes to a mainstream school.”
Keith says that he and his wife, Zoe, who also works for the company, have had excellent support through the county but he realises that this is not the same for every child with autism. Keith continued: “Whilst we’ve had great help I know that it’s a post code lottery when it comes to autism.
“The levels of support vary massively from county to county so when I heard about the Caudwell International Children’s Centre I was intrigued.
“When I found out more about the building, and the services the charity offers, I was blown away by the detail.
“I know only too well how the design of a building can increase sensory stimulus and create an uncomfortable environment for children with autism.
“So the circular route through the centre with no dead ends, the rounded corners on walls, the plain décor which avoids busy colours, makes for a calm and welcoming building for those with the condition.”
Because of his son’s condition Keith, originally from Hull, is an avid supporter of autism charities and he decided to offer Caudwell Children his support.
“I know that children with autism benefit from good planning and the more that they know about new environments the better. So I thought what better way to prepare children for their visit to the Caudwell International Children’s Centre than to visit it virtually.”
Karenza Cassidy, whose 19-year-old-son Eddie has autism, believes that the walkthrough will be an invaluable resource for autistic children and their parents. As Karenza explained: “My son like many people with autism, finds new environments very tricky to negotiate, having so much unpredictability and new sensory information to process.
“On top of that you have to plan what you do with your body at the same time, which puts enormous pressure on him and he gets very anxious.
“Being able to show him the walkthrough will give him some control and understanding of what’s to come, so there’s no guesswork.
“He could practice the walkthrough as many times as he needed to and familiarise himself with the building, which will make a huge difference and help him to turn up calm and confident.
“To have access to this walkthrough before visiting will be an invaluable tool for families.”
The charity was delighted to receive the support from Venue View as Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, explained: “Keith and the team have created a stunning, high definition, 360 degree tour of the centre allowing children and their families to view the facilities before they come.
“This is a great benefit to those who may have a neurodevelopmental condition, such as autism, as it will give them a familiarity of the building before they visit, which may calm any anxieties they may have.”
Keith added: “Although most of my work is for corporate clients like Odeon, Holiday Inn, Red Bull and Brewdog, I plan to provide discounted tours to other charities in the future.”
For more information on Venue View visit: www.venueview.co.uk