How Kanhai and Alison combatted loneliness

Two people sat at a kitchen table and smiling towards the camera with their lunch on the table.

Friends, family, colleagues and celebrities are now all just a click away. Social media and the internet have shrunk the world while growing our circle of contacts. Socialising is a necessary need for humans, and technology has changed the landscape in which it occurs. However, not everyone has access to this broad new horizon and keeping friendships are harder than ever. Loneliness Awareness Week runs from 17 to 21 June and aims to highlight that loneliness is something that affects us all at some point in our lives.

Alison and Kanhai have been friends for well over a decade now, always living relatively close by. Both are deafblind with learning disabilities and both communicate using British Sign Language (BSL). This shared language made their bond stronger as, regardless of what was happening in each other’s lives, they could always talk to each other. They met regularly, ate together, laughed together and on more than one occasion went on holiday together.

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We’re all going on a Summer Holiday!

Jai and Jack are stood smiling at the camera with a Maze in the background.

There’s nothing quite like the great British countryside. Fresh air, green grass and generous quantities of tea make the UK holiday experience something quite special. It is more than flip flops, food and factor 50. It’s a time to take a breather and focus on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. What makes Jack special was his decision to use his holiday to focus on the wellbeing of others; and he wouldn’t trade the experience for all the tea in Yorkshire.

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GOT it! Ten years of incredible stories

On Monday 29 April, the Sense Get Out There (GOT) group, a community-based short break service that supports young disabled people, celebrated its 10-year anniversary. To mark the occasion, HRH The Princess Royal visited the group and was presented with a book of stories written by disabled people marking their growth in independence.

Each person’s story reveals how much their life has been touched by the Sense GOT group. For some, it is the opportunity to experience new things and visit new places that keeps them coming back. For others, it is simply the chance  to make friends. One thing is for certain, everyone has a story to tell.

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Peas in a Pod: Sense support worker, Graham, uses his own interests to build a deep connection with Tony

On the left is a man we support (Tony) and on the right is Graham. Both are smiling towards the camera. Standing outside a front door.

Graham is an enthusiastic and passionate member of staff at Sense TouchBase South East, a Sense day opportunity for people with complex disabilities based in Barnet. He is also a support worker for the Sense Intervenor Service which supports people who are congenitally deafblind to access the world around them. He has been with the organisation for less than 18 months and, in that time, has developed a strong connection with the people he supports while incorporating his own hobbies and interests in the role.

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National Storytelling Week

Sense 6 word story competition. National Storytelling Week on orange backgroundIntroduction

Welcome to the storytelling competition with a twist. Legend has it that Ernest Hemmingway, while having lunch with his friends, placed a bet that he could create a story in just six words. While the group were placing their money in the centre of the table, Hemmingway wrote his story on a napkin. He then passed the napkin around the table and proceeded to collect his winnings. His friends were in shock as they passed the napkin which read:

‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’

This is a challenge to anyone and everyone expanding on Hemmingway’s initial idea. Who among you can tell the best six word story using any format? These stories can be told in braille, sign, pictures or any form of communication. Have a look below to see how you can get involved.

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