Welcome to Calm Cove

Aruma hosted a serene sensory escape at this year’s Newcastle Show!

March 13, 2024

The annual Newcastle Show was back and bigger than ever for Newcastle and Hunter locals over the weekend. While the bright lights of carnival rides, loud barnyard animal sounds, and the excitement of being out in the community can be great for some, it can be overwhelming for others.

Our Aruma reps decided to create Calm Cove, an ocean-themed, inclusive sensory-friendly retreat that was the perfect spot for anyone looking for tranquillity amidst the excitement.

“It was extremely well received, and we had lots of positive feedback from everyone that stopped by. I would say 90% of visitors thanked us for including this at the show, and people were grateful for the cool space to rest,” said Business Development Coordinator, Brittany Varley.

Parents with children of all ages, carers, support workers, people with disability, and attendees who were looking for a quiet break all made use of the space. The interactive sensory elements were also a hit.

“A young nonverbal boy came into the room with his carer, and his emotions were heightened. When he noticed the shiny streamers blowing in the breeze, he immediately laid down to stare up at them. He visibly calmed down, and his carer directed him to the sensory wall,” Brittany continued.

“We had another gentleman with a disability sit with us, as his feet were swollen and sore. While he rested, his Support Worker looked for a specific hat he wanted to purchase before leaving. The customer rested, and they returned later for another rest while the Support Worker found the water stations.”

The Newcastle Show Event Coordinator even directed some attendees to the space and was very impressed with its popularity over both days.

‘It was consistently busy the whole time, and people were coming back for a second visit! The room was at capacity several times, and I overheard a few people saying they would come back when it wasn’t so busy,” said Brittany.

The event was also a great time to share with visitors what services and supports Aruma offers. There were several enquiries and quite a few people left with business cards so they could learn more about us.


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