I made new friends when I volunteered on a Sense Holiday

Jack and Jai 4

Volunteering on a Sense Holiday is an unforgettable experience. Not only did I make friends with Jai, an amazing kid I supported to have a brilliant holiday, but I also became friends with like-minded volunteers like Jonny, who was also there to support disabled children with complex communication needs.

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Dance inspires, uplifts and connects us

Two women dancing together

A brand new disability arts festival called Sensibility is coming to Birmingham this weekend. As a dance teacher who has worked with Sense Arts for five years, I’m really excited to be leading a choreographed dance, movement and story session this Friday 18 May and Sunday 20 May, at Sense’s TouchBase Pears multipurpose venue.

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I’m a visually impaired artist who’s helping others connect through creativity

Two women and a man in an art studio, smiling and holding hands

I’m a visually impaired mixed and multimedia artist working with Sense to support people with sensory impairments to produce art for a brand new disability arts festival called Sensibility, happening this Friday, 18 May.

Through art, I want to elevate the importance of all of the senses. I myself, exhibit my artworks nationally and internationally, but I also work on making more accessible sensory and tactile works, and smaller sculptures too.

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We’re learning British Sign Language so our deaf colleagues aren’t excluded

A smiling woman talks using BSL to a colleague in her office

If you ask any of my colleagues at Sense what drives them, they will tell you how important inclusion is, and how we can ensure on a daily basis that no one we support is left isolated, alone or unable to fulfil their potential.

At Sense we pride ourselves on being communication experts. By unlocking barriers to communication, we ensure everyone enjoys meaningful lives – and this applies equally, both to the individuals we support, and our staff and volunteers. That’s why, as part of our Equality and Diversity Week this week at Sense, we’re proud to be launching an online learning module so all our staff can learn British Sign Language (BSL).

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How can we solve the housing crisis for disabled people?

A woman leans on a table next to a young man

Today sees the publication of a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), following their inquiry into the availability of housing for disabled people. It highlights a ‘housing crisis’ caused by the lack of accessible and affordable homes, delays in installing home adaptations, and a general lack of support to enable disabled people to live independently.

The impacts of this can be wide ranging and affect independence, employment, relationships, health and social care needs, and more. Many of the findings in this report echo the experiences of families we spoke to as part of the research by Sense for our When I’m Gone campaign.

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New minister, new opportunities

Two smiling women

There was a new appointment in Government last week, an important one for disabled people with complex needs.

James Brokenshire became the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. We’re calling on him to ensure disabled people with complex needs have appropriate and timely arrangements for their future care in place, and to help provide the peace of mind that families need.

Describing himself as having “local government… in the blood”, Mr Brokenshire said he looked forward to working with councils to deliver quality public services and build strong integrated communities.

This Department is an important one for Sense as it has responsibility over local government, including reform, finances and adult social care.
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From working in nursing home kitchens to becoming a Registered Care Manager

Two smiling men stand together outside wearing climbing helmets

I’ve worked in social care since I was 16. Now I’m a Registered Care Manager leading a team of support workers.

It was only when I started working with Sense that I really saw how communicating and connecting differently gave disabled people with complex communication needs the confidence to live independent and active lives.

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I ran my first and 50th marathon for Sense

 

A smiling man holding a purple and orange frameI suffered from a serious back injury in 2014. I was a keen footballer and sportsman, but after my operation I was told my days of playing serious sport were over. I was devastated.

After a few unhappy months of doing no sport at all, I decided one evening to go for a run. Two and half years later and I’ll be running my 50th marathon! This year I’m running for Sense, a charity close to my heart.

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