My inspirational aunt is why I’m leaving a gift in my Will to Sense

Black and white photographs of a young woman in the 1940s working in a factory and holding her guide dog

I choose to support Sense in memory of my aunt Josie. Josie had meningitis in 1940, when she was just 12 years old, which left her deafblind. She was independent, strong-willed and a true inspiration to everyone who met her.

My aunt Josie lived in Gloucestershire and we used to visit her from our home in Norwich. We learnt to use hand-under-hand signing, so we could communicate with her.

My sister and I adored her, and enjoyed visiting her – especially walking across the fields to have a picnic or a visit to the sweet shop.

When she was a teenager, Josie worked in a local factory on a drill machine, which she really enjoyed. The factory also employed ten other blind people.

Later in life she moved into a flat in Rainbow Court in Peterborough. There, she was supported to live as independently as possible, though she was also given the special gift of her beloved guide dog Tina.

She also became an ambassador and travelled to America and Germany to give lectures and to promote awareness of being deafblind.

She became really well known in the community, and in 1976, she was invited to the Queen’s Garden Party in recognition of her work. We were extremely proud of her and loved her very much.

I support Sense in memory of Josie. I was looking for a cause to support in her memory and when I came across Sense I thought ‘this will be my charity’.

By leaving Sense a gift in your Will, you can make sure that no one with complex communication needs is isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential.

If you would like more information about leaving a gift in your will to Sense, visit our website or contact Leesa Mathiesen on 0207 014 9347 or email

Author: Jill Daniels

Mrs Daniels chose to leave a gift in her Will to Sense in memory of her inspirational aunt Josie, who was deafblind.

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