Hope Unlimited Church's sensory concert spreads Christmas cheer to all

The things that scream of Christmas - Santa, carols, bells and all the shiny lights and tinsel - are exciting for a lot of people, but not all.

To children with additional needs, it can be all too much and, in fact, does the opposite to igniting the joy and warm fuzzy feelings.

Recognising that many were missing out, Hope Unlimited Church has for the past three years adapted its annual Christmas Spectacular to create a unique one-hour sensory experience specifically designed to cater for families with additional needs children.

The sensory spectacular show returns on Saturday, December 14.

The Christmas show's creative director, Jenelle Bateman, who is a mother of an additional needs child plus the founder of Blueprint Counselling, believes in the community event, which is why she has volunteered for the past three years.

"As a therapist, I believe that one of the most difficult challenges people face is isolation," she said.

"Families who have children with additional needs so often fall into the category of isolation as many events do not cater to them.

"This event has been created to bring people together. As a parent, I'm grateful there is a place for my child to engage and feel right at home."

During the hour-long show the lights are dimmed, the volume is softer, and sensory interaction is encouraged with the use of bubbles, bells, ribbons and live animals.

The show will be held at HopeUC Charmhaven on December 14 from 11am. Tickets can be booked at hopeuc.com/au/thenativity. The cost is $5 per person.

The non-sensory version of the concert will be staged on December 14 and 15 at 3.30pm and 6.30pm.

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