No one should be left out of life

Headshot of Richard Kramer, who is smiling into the camera.
Richard Kramer, Sense Chief Executive.

Access to treatment for coronavirus should not be based on erroneous quality of life judgements about disabled people.

This weekend many of you will have read the worrying news that some people with long term health conditions and disabilities have been informed that they will be denied care if they become seriously ill with Coronavirus. I recognise how distressing this must be for so many of the families that Sense supports.

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Once upon a time…

A young girl eating fruit, sitting with her mother
Jessica sitting with her mum.

Books and stories are an integral part of growing up. As a child we hear stories to teach us about the world around us and as we grow, we learn to read, write and tell our own stories. Traditional wisdom and shared experiences have been passed down from generations through the way we communicate with each other. During this time of physical distancing, the need to escape through stories has never been greater.

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Saying Hello to Sense

Two ladies standing in Portcullis House smiling next to a Sense banner

At Sense we believe people with complex disabilities should always lead the conversation, so who better to introduce MPs to Sense than the people we support. With a new Government and many new MPs in Parliament, it’s important that we build relationships with them as soon as possible.

In February, Sense’s Public Policy and Campaigns team hosted a “Say Hello To Sense” event in the House of Commons where MPs and Peers met Catherine, Tony, Maria and Daniel who all communicate differently.

Thanks to the efforts of an incredible 169 Sense campaigners, 22 MPs and Peers dropped in to say hello (you can find a full list at the bottom of this blog) – a great turn out for a busy afternoon in Parliament.

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Government must deal with the social care crisis once and for all

The news has been dominated by stories about coronavirus in recent weeks, and the potential impact it could have across all levels of society. So it’s not surprising that coronavirus was a main focus of today’s Budget. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Government is creating an emergency response fund to ensure the NHS and other public services have the resources needed to tackle the impact of coronavirus. Initially set at £5 billion, it will also support local authorities to manage pressures on social care and support vulnerable people.

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Speaking the same language

Getting the right support is vital – but there’s nothing like talking to someone who knows what you are going through. Shaanvir Rehal describes how special friendship between Leanne and Natalie has made all the difference.  

For anyone, losing your vision and hearing can be an isolating and lonely experience. Especially when this information is dropped on you by a letter in the post. This is what happened to Leanne about seven years ago. She went to the doctors for a routine appointment only to be told in a letter that she had Usher syndrome.

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Saihan’s Story

My life is very busy at the moment. GCSEs are enough to exhaust anyone but I still find time for lots of other things too. Recently, I arranged for a day of work experience with Sense. Sarah White, the Head of Public Policy, kindly invited me to shadow her team for the day due to my interest in politics. Sense is also the ideal organisation for me to work in as I also take part in one of their buddying programs.

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Suspend Motion – An immersive performance experience

Young lady in a dance performance

New Collaboration:
Sense Arts is pleased to announce a new ground breaking dance performance partnership with screen dance director Sima Gonsai and professional dancers from interACTION to create a trilogy of screen dance films performed by dancers with complex disabilities.

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Jai’s Journey

Jai standing with his mother, Pam, and they are holding a certificate with a Sense Teddy bear.
Jai standing with his mother, Pam, and they are holding a certificate with a Sense Teddy bear.

Sleigh bells weren’t the only chimes heard in December as the world was gearing up for the festive season. Down a colourful corridor in Coventry Hospital, one bell rang out the louder than most.

Four years ago, Jai was diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome which is one of the rarest genetic diseases in the world. Not only does it affect your vision and hearing but also makes you susceptible to other conditions such as diabetes. Since the diagnosis, Sense was there to support Jai and Pam through all that was to come.

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2019 – A Year In Review

CEO, Richard Kramer on the left and Lord Levy on the right
CEO, Richard Kramer on the left and Lord Levy on the right

It’s been a busy year for Sense, and as 2019 draws to a close, it’s important to reflect on what’s been achieved over the last 12 months!

No one left out of life

At the beginning of the year, we launched our new strategy, No one left out of life, with ambitious goals for the people we support.

In what continues to be a challenging environment in all three of the areas Sense operates in: Charity, Social Care and Retail, I am proud to say we have continued to expand our services, meeting the needs of an even greater number of people, without compromising on our high standards.  We are very proud of our record in social care. It also means our campaigning work is more credible as it is rooted in the views of those we support and their families, and from our expertise as a service provider.

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Step up or step back? How we will measure the success of the new prime minister.

A woman supporting a man, Harry, who is visually impaired and holding his white cane.
A woman supporting a man, Harry, who is visually impaired and holding his white cane.

As the dust settles on another election campaign and we return to comparative normality, I have been thinking about what I would do if I was Boris Johnson today.  I can’t deny that Brexit will dominate much of the coming weeks but what about our domestic policy, what else would I want to achieve and what would success look like?

Discussions on improving the rights and services for disabled people was notable for its absence during the General Election campaign. This just serves to exacerbate the feeling of exclusion and not being valued by society.  It goes without saying that the priority for me would have to be taking urgent action to redress the inequalities and injustice that disabled people face on a daily basis. It’s a glaring injustice that needs to be addressed.  I’m calling on Boris to put disability at the heart of their government, enabling disabled people to live fulfilled and dignified lives.

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