Maddie Moos Play and Sensory is the lasting legacy of a beautiful baby girl who died from a rare genetic disorder.
Little Madison Murray was diagnosed with muscle wasting Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when she was born in November 2011 and, despite being told she could live for six months, she died at just 17-weeks-old in March 2012.
Her parents Laura Kendall and Jason Murray raised a massive £50,000 through the Madison’s Dream fund with the help of family and friends. The community rallied round and organised skydives, music concerts, a log run and non-uniform days.
They used the cash to set up Maddie Moos Play and Sensory, at Burntwood Community Centre in South Kirkby, as the tot had responded well to sensory treatment at a unit in hospital.
The sensory room opened in January and is now helping 18 families from across the district. It is used by youngsters with additional needs such as autism, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and sight problems.
It boasts the only interactive floor in the north east, as well as fibre optics, a bubble wall, different-feel toys and lights.
The sensory room has been making a difference to the lives of children across the district. Leo Prideaux, nine, has severe autism, no speech and can be hyperactive and aggressive.
His mum Michelle said: “The sensory room has made a huge difference to Leo.
“We go to Maddie Moos every week because it helps him to relax. It also helps me to communicate with him which is something I struggled to do before.”
The nursery, which opened in October, teamed up with the All Saints play group, run by Louise Siddons.
It runs sessions four times a week and offers soft play, music, toys, outdoor play and arts and crafts.
A recent Easter party was attended by almost 60 children from across SESKU.
Miss Kendall, 31, of Stockingate, said: “We teamed up with All Saints and it is really working well. Maddie Moos has really taken off since we opened. People are travelling from Leeds and Wakefield to use the sensory room. It is great to see the effect it has had on some families.
“We have even started doing birthday parties in the hall.
“I am so glad we started the project - it is a really positive thing to have come out of such a tragedy. It has given me a new lease of life, especially since I was made redundant.
“Madison’s little life wasn’t a waste. People are remembering her and it is a nice legacy to carry on.”