How Sense is providing award-winning support to its Care Managers

Three people side by side, one holding a certificateAt Sense, we recognise the importance of supporting our registered care managers. Their role is absolutely critical for providing high quality support services and enabling the people we support to achieve outcomes.

Registered care managers set the culture and quality for the services they manage – from the recruitment and support of person centred teams through to their focus on continuous improvement and development of their services. However, we should not underestimate the demands and pressure of the role. They will frequently be juggling many competing demands and requests, both within the service but also from families, commissioners and care managers, and from head office. How do they fit it all into their working day?

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When you have sight and hearing loss, group discussions can be really difficult

Graphic with photo of Gary and text that reads "I felt misunderstood and very alone"

As someone who has sight and hearing loss, I would like to draw attention to the feelings of isolation and loneliness within one’s circle of friends and family. Although in some cases this can be attributed to one’s personality, it is possible to feel ‘left out’ by their nearest and dearest.

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Like many disabled people, I experience loneliness on a daily basis

"Simple things like going to the pub can the stressful" - Ian, Jo Cox LonelinessI experience loneliness on a daily basis, as do many disabled people I speak to. Public attitudes, accessibility and employment support are all areas that must be addressed if we are to tackle social isolation for disabled people.

I was born partially deaf and have limited vision as a result of Usher syndrome, a progressive condition which slowly causes my eyesight to deteriorate.

I always liked to keep busy with work and friends. However, as my eyesight deteriorated, it felt like my ability to do this became hindered.

But in reality it’s a lack of awareness and support that limit disabled people.

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Co-production – a better way of working together

Two men communicating via hands on deafblind manualPutting people at the heart of decision making is a key strategic priority for Sense.

Our aspiration is to move to a co-production approach where people actively contribute to every stage of planning, design, development and service delivery across all parts of Sense, reflecting our ‘I’ Statement: ‘No decision about me, without me’

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What questions do six year olds have for deafblind people?

A seated man with a group of students, seated on the floor
Steven Morris with the Year 2 students

Last month, I went back to school… well for an afternoon at least!

Over the last few years, I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to one of my local primary schools, Chepping View Primary Academy in High Wycombe – where my wife works – to talk about living with a sensory impairment.

My visits have helped the children to understand more about the work Sense does, and the people it supports. As a result, the school council decided to run ‘Sense cinema day’ just before Christmas, raising more than £800 for the charity.

Each year, I speak to the Year 2 children about braille, certain technology that I use, and then I brave their questions!

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Campaigning for Sense helped me give my brother a voice

A boy smiling
Saima’s brother, who is supported by Sense

My name is Saima and I have been campaigning for Sense for a number of years. I got involved in campaigning after personally experiencing the difficulties of getting the right support and service for my brother.

My brother is supported by Sense in Luton, and has been for several years. The team there are fantastic. Since my brother has attended, he has transformed into a confident, happy and independent young man, and it is all down to the hard work of the team. I have been a supporter of Sense since then.

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How accessible and useful is the Amazon Echo?

Two men seated by a table with a black cylundrical device
Tony Lodge and Steven Morris with Tony’s Amazon Echo

You may have heard about Amazon’s Echo, a hands-free, voice controlled device that uses Alexa (Amazon’s version of Siri, a talking digital assistant) to perform various tasks such as play music, control ‘smart’ home devices, read the news, set alarms, add items to shopping lists and more.

I met up with Sense member Tony Lodge to learn more about using the Echo and how it might be of help and accessible to disabled people. Tony brought one with him and we and put it through its paces.

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What I’ll be asking from the next government at the Disability Hustings Event

Picture of Emma, smiling in orange Sense t-shirtA hustings is a meeting where potential candidates for an election talk to voters. On Tuesday 30 May I will be at a Disability Hustings Event where disabled people pose questions to these candidates, raise issues, and tell them what they think should be prioritised if they are in post after the general election.

My name is Emma Blackmore. I am a 29 year old who was born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. My lifelong ambition is to help others and that’s where Sense comes in. Not only have I been a member of Sense since I was 14 years old but I work at the Sense Woodside Family Centre in my home town, Bristol. I am also part of Sense’s Campaigners’ Network.

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The Monday Ramble and the benefits of bringing people together

Group of people at picnic tables wavingThe Monday Ramble activity session at Sense has been a regular feature in many deafblind people’s lives over the past six years. It was an opportunity created specifically to get deafblind people from across the Midlands region together to do regular, gentle exercise, and improve fitness levels.

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Celebrating access to the arts with a new sensory festival

Black and white photograph of manhole cover on pavement with blurred edges to show Marcus' point of view
A photograph exhibited by Marcus Inniss at Moorfields Eye Hospital

Access to the arts is so important, but can often be misunderstood as simply a ‘nice thing to do’ rather than as a fundamental right. Creativity gives us the tools to make sense of the world and articulate our thoughts and feelings, and we’re yet to find ways of making this available to all.

At Sense we’re interested in ways to empower people to find their cultural voice, and we’re doing this through working collaboratively and experimentally with artists and participants to interrogate access to art through the senses.

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