A dog cafe in Caerphilly town centre has received a donation of nearly £1,000 to open a new sensory room.
Butcher and Ball Dog Cafe, which is on St Fagan’s Street, opened its doors in July.
The cafe’s owner, Charlie Ball, said she hopes the sensory room will provide a therapeutic experience for people with Autism and Down’s Syndrome, as well as their canine counterparts.
A cheque worth £930 was donated to the cafe by First Choice Housing Association (FCHA), which provides housing for people with learning and physical difficulties, as well as veterans.
Ms Ball, said: “It costs around £2,000 for a basic sensory room. It’s so wonderful that FCHA have come forward with help.
“We want to create a safe place for people to come.
“We have three people here with autism and I’ve seen the way a sensory room can help people with autism, as well as dogs. It’s very calming and good for the soul.
“We want to get rid of the stigma of disabilities. People are often scared that they’ll offend disabled people.”
The sensory room is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Ms Ball explained that without this donation, it may have taken another year to complete the project.
According to Ms Ball, the room will have a dark ceiling with lights to create an impression of starry sky, bubble lamps, soft seating, a projector on the walls, as well as music and sounds.
Adrian Burke, Chief Executive of FCHA, said: “When we heard about Butcher and Ball’s concept of creating an inclusive space for the whole community, we wanted to be involved.
“We hope this can make a big impact.”