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Norwich’s Lego therapy bus is going on the road in new partnership

PUBLISHED: 11:52 04 January 2019 | UPDATED: 12:10 04 January 2019

Amy Eleftheriades, who runs the Block Bus. She has started a new partnership with Norwich charity The Hamlet to provide Lego therapy sessions with the bus. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Amy Eleftheriades, who runs the Block Bus. She has started a new partnership with Norwich charity The Hamlet to provide Lego therapy sessions with the bus. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A bus which uses Lego to help children who struggle with communication is on the road for a new run of sessions.

The Block Bus will offering its special brand of therapy at The Hamlet, a charity which supports children and young adults with complex needs at two centres in Norwich.

The sessions at the charity’s Johnson Place site will teach social, communication and teamwork skills using Lego and other tools.

The therapy bus was launched at the 2017 Norwich Science Festival at the Forum by Alpha Inclusion and Communication, which helps improve the communication skills and social interactions of high-functioning children and young people with autism.

The company’s boss Amy Eleftheriades plans to use the Block Bus as a mobile classroom to provide specialised sessions for children with autism and related learning difficulties, helping schools to overcome funding shortages in special educational needs provision.

The Block Bus, outside the Forum in Norwich, for Norwich Science Festival.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Block Bus, outside the Forum in Norwich, for Norwich Science Festival. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Of the new partnership with The Hamlet, she said: “We met and chatted about how both organisations work and realised that our attitudes and ethos are very similar.

“It made sense for The Block Bus to be based at the Hamlet so we could pool our expertise and resources and be accessible to children and young people in and around Norwich.

“We’re very excited about getting started and seeing what we can achieve together.”

At the launch of the Block Bus in October Ms Eleftheriades said: “Doing the Lego therapy engages everyone, and it uses skills everyone needs in the workplace.

The Block Bus, outside the Forum in Norwich, for Norwich Science Festival.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYThe Block Bus, outside the Forum in Norwich, for Norwich Science Festival. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

“The public sector, with its funding cuts, cannot afford all the things it wants. We can sell these services to businesses to put resources back into the community.”

The Hamlet supports more than 500 families each year in Norfolk and North Suffolk and offers services for children including an art sensory room and sensory garden.

The Block Bus sessions at its Johnson Place site, which will run in a six-week block, will take place on Thursday afternoons and are open to children aged four to 16.

Alpha Inclusion and Communication is currently accepting referrals from schools, parents and carers, and health and social care professionals.

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