YMCA Cork Launches Joy’s Room

February 2024

On Monday 12 February, YMCA Cork hosted a launch event for Joy’s Room, our new sensory space designated for young people to use if they become overwhelmed by the environment or by stress or anxiety. The room is named in memory of our dear friend and colleague Joy Cantwell-Moore, who passed away in August 2023.

Dozens of friends, family and colleagues were all on hand to celebrate Joy’s life, her care for the young people, children and families she worked with and the lasting impact she has made on our organisation, movement and community. We shared music, prayers, food, stories, tears and laughter as we gathered together for this special evening.

Young people using Joy’s Room will be in control of the sensory input they need at any given time. It is designed to be a space where they can make or hear sound or just have quiet. Low soft lighting provides a soothing atmosphere. Soft cushions, weighted blanket, blankets and rugs provide a comforting tactile experience. Sensory equipment is available in the room e.g. arts/craft materials, clay, mindful colouring books, fidget toys, swing, bean bags, tent, books etc. All of this provides a space to get away from the noise, activity and busyness of much of our everyday environments.

Our hope is that Joy’s Room will be a retreat for young people to help them to feel more comfortable and manage sensory overload so that they are better supported to engage in our programmes. A place where they can experience peace and Joy!

Special thanks to the staff, volunteers and young people of YMCA Cork who worked so hard to bring this project to fulfilment, and to Aviva Insurance and Cork ETB for their generous financial support.

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