Sense Chief Executive, Richard Kramer, reflects on collaboration in the sector.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Chief Executives across the sector have been spending more time together, courtesy of video conferencing. We are much more curious about our fellow CEO’s leadership and how other organisations are responding to the challenges of Covid-19. We are more willing to talk openly and freely, share ideas and learn from each other. It is clear that we need each other more than ever, and I wonder whether Covid-19 permanently shifted the way we engage, collaborate and relate with one another?
Lockdown showed us how lonely life can be when the people and places we love are taken away. But, what if life was already lonely before the isolation of the pandemic? Sadly, that’s the case for thousands of disabled people in the UK. A study by Sense, before the pandemic, revealed that one in two disabled people (53%) feel lonely every day, rising to 77% for young disabled people. And lockdown has only made things worse.
As schools and education centres across the UK re-open their doors along with most of society, through our services and engagement with parents and families, we’re seeing disabled children once again being left behind in their battle to access a full education.
The pandemic has had a devastating impact on social care and the people who rely on it. At Sense, our Forgotten Families campaign has revealed that a third (34%) of families with a disabled loved one still have not had any care or support reinstated since lockdown has been lifted. The Government has received considerable criticism from the press and Parliament for how it has handled support for social care. As a result, Government has released a new plan for the winter which sets out how social care will get the funding and resources it needs. What does this mean for Sense and the people we support?
Through our Forgotten Families campaign we’ve been highlighting the experience of Jane’s family, who’ve been struggling to support their 20-year-old daughter Faith throughout the pandemic without support. But we know Jane and Faith aren’t the only family dealing with the devastating impact of having their support withdrawn overnight. Our recent research, showed that 75% of those who had support withdrawn didn’t receive any warning before this happened, and a third of families are still waiting for any support to be reinstated.
The changes to the London Marathon this year have been incredible for me. This is my first time running it and, having only been running for three years, this would be a huge achievement for me. My only concern would be not having my son, Hugo, there to cheer me on.
James is 13 and loves life but really doesn’t care about using the toilet. Sound familiar? So many families say the same. If their child has complex needs and a multisensory impairment, how should they teach them the skills of toileting? With very little help, James’s mum Sue kept on going even when professionals told her to give up. It hasn’t been easy, but this summer, James made a breakthrough. Read Sue and James’ story and get some tips on toileting.
Gifts in Wills are vital for our work, helping to provide specialist support for children who are deafblind or have complex disabilities, and services that allow children and adults to communicate, experience the world and live happier lives. Find out how you can pass on something wonderful.
We knew that Coronavirus, and the ways it has restricted all our lives, would also have a major impact on the people we support at Sense. It would be difficult for some of the people we support to understand why they were no longer able to see their friends, attend their usual centres, or go about life in their usual way.
When your child can’t see or hear, how do you even begin to teach her to use the toilet? Kiera has complex needs but her multisensory impairment is what made toileting really hard for her. Her mum Ashling makes no bones about it: she felt alone and she definitely couldn’t talk to anyone about Kiera’s smearing. But she kept going, believing in Kiera and using her knowledge of Kiera to guide her. Read Ashling and Kiera’s story.