I was reunited with Kevin, 10 years after helping him move into Sense supported living

Two photos of the same two smiling men, arm in arm. The photo on the left is 10 years ago, and the photo on the right is present day.

I’ve worked for Sense for almost two decades in many different roles. More than ten years ago, I met Kevin  who was then a young man using Sense day services and living at home with his mum.

Back then I was an education tutor who led art sessions, and my connection with Kevin focused around creativity and art. I’d support and encourage Kevin who’d create beautiful pieces often focused on important events in his life. I particularly recall one piece Kevin created, which was a painting of a beautiful garden, about the passing of his father.

Over the years we built a friendship, and art was our way of connecting.

Continue reading “I was reunited with Kevin, 10 years after helping him move into Sense supported living”

Just because I’m blind, doesn’t mean you can grab me without asking

A smiling woman standing at a 'Wait' sign by the road

When I first started working at Sense, I didn’t use a long white cane. Although I was born visually impaired, I always thought white canes were only for individuals with total sight loss. However, the more I learnt about the people Sense supports, the more I realised I could also benefit from using a mobility aid.

Becoming a cane user is the best decision I’ve ever made! It has given me back so much confidence, I feel safer and I’m so much more independent. There is only one downside, people keep grabbing me! Continue reading “Just because I’m blind, doesn’t mean you can grab me without asking”

As Sense’s new CEO, I spent my first month reconnecting with our incredible services

A smiling man holding the hands of two disabled men

Last month, I was appointed the new Chief Executive of Sense, after five years as its Deputy CEO.

Most new CEOs joining an organisation would start with visiting its services and meeting as many of its stakeholders as possible. It’s about discovering the lie of the land, learning more about the work the organisation does, and meeting its staff, volunteers and beneficiaries, all for the first time. Continue reading “As Sense’s new CEO, I spent my first month reconnecting with our incredible services”

When you’re deaf, public transport can be a nightmare

A ticket office in a station with a small queue

I’m a lady of a certain age, as they say, and I am very deaf. I love travelling and use public transport all over the place, very regularly. My bus pass is one of my most treasured possessions.

For deaf people, things aren’t too bad with public transport – although I dread people trying to make conversation with me over the noise of a bus. I used to love random conversations with strangers before I lost my hearing, but now I either have to ignore them, confess my disability, or struggle to take part. Continue reading “When you’re deaf, public transport can be a nightmare”

I’m so proud of my daughter for showing the world that wearing hearing aids is normal

A smiling woman holding the hands of a young girl and boy standing outside a house

My daughter, Skye, who is 11-years-old, is your typical young girl who likes musicals, playing football and reading. However, because of sight and hearing loss, she’s worn glasses and hearing aids since she was at nursery school.

One day, she took a look at her hearing aids and said ‘I don’t want to wear them anymore.’ She’d needed them since she was three but had recently become self-conscious about it.

Continue reading “I’m so proud of my daughter for showing the world that wearing hearing aids is normal”

People with complex disabilities are making new friends and reconnecting with Sense’s support

Two sets of hands holding a coffee cup

Our connection to those close to us has a huge impact on health, wellbeing and happiness. We know from our recent campaign on loneliness, that many disabled people feel lonely and don’t have as many social connections as they’d like.

So we wanted to find ways to increase opportunities for the people we support in our services, to make friends, form new relationships and connect with others.

Continue reading “People with complex disabilities are making new friends and reconnecting with Sense’s support”

As a visually impaired school pupil, Sense College was the perfect place to get my work experience

A smiling young man holding a cane stands next to a sign that says "Sense College, Sense Centre, Peterborough"

I have a severe visual impairment and came to Sense to get some work experience. I wanted to develop my skills and develop some inspiration for what I want to do after school. I’m in year ten in a mainstream school and will be doing most of my GCSEs next year.

Continue reading “As a visually impaired school pupil, Sense College was the perfect place to get my work experience”

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.

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

Walk for Deafblind Awarenesss Week 2018

A crowd of people walking along a street wearing orange tshirts

Deafblind Awareness Week 2018 is almost upon us. From 24 – 30 June, hundreds of people will be raising awareness across England, by taking part in our Sense Walks. And we’re inviting you to join us.

Deafblind Awareness Week includes celebrating the birthday of world famous deafblind American author and activist, Helen Keller, who was born on the 27 June, 1880. Keller was instrumental in raising awareness of deafblindness among the public, helping them understand what life is like when you have both sight and hearing loss.

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How do you support individuals with death and bereavement?

The hands of an older woman in bed being held by the hands of a younger woman by her side

How do you support individuals with death and bereavement? During my time working for Sense, I’ve gained a lot of experience supporting people with complex communication needs, but also learned a lot about how we can approach this often sensitive subject.

Continue reading “How do you support individuals with death and bereavement?”