Access to treatment for coronavirus should not be based on erroneous quality of life judgements about disabled people.
This weekend many of you will have read the worrying news that some people with long term health conditions and disabilities have been informed that they will be denied care if they become seriously ill with Coronavirus. I recognise how distressing this must be for so many of the families that Sense supports.
stories are an integral part of growing up. As a child we hear stories to teach
us about the world around us and as we grow, we learn to read, write and tell
our own stories. Traditional wisdom and shared experiences have been passed
down from generations through the way we communicate with each other. During
this time of physical distancing, the need to escape through stories has never
At Sense we believe people
with complex disabilities should always lead the conversation, so who better to
introduce MPs to Sense than the people we support. With a new Government and many
new MPs in Parliament, it’s important that we build relationships with them as
soon as possible.
In February, Sense’s
Public Policy and Campaigns team hosted a “Say Hello To Sense” event in the
House of Commons where MPs and Peers met Catherine, Tony, Maria and Daniel who
all communicate differently.
Thanks to the
efforts of an incredible 169 Sense campaigners, 22 MPs and Peers dropped in to say
hello (you can find a full list at the bottom of this blog) – a great turn out for
a busy afternoon in Parliament.
Getting the right support is vital – but there’s nothing like talking to someone who knows what you are going through. Shaanvir Rehal describes how special friendship between Leanne and Natalie has made all the difference.
For anyone, losing your vision and hearing can be an isolating and
lonely experience. Especially when this information is dropped on you by a
letter in the post. This is what happened to Leanne about seven years ago. She
went to the doctors for a routine appointment only to be told in a letter that
she had Usher syndrome.
My life is very busy at the moment. GCSEs are enough to
exhaust anyone but I still find time for lots of other things too. Recently, I
arranged for a day of work experience with Sense. Sarah White, the Head of
Public Policy, kindly invited me to shadow her team for the day due to my
interest in politics. Sense is also the ideal organisation for me to work in as
I also take part in one of their buddying programs.
Sleigh bells weren’t the only chimes heard in December as the world was gearing up for the festive season. Down a colourful corridor in Coventry Hospital, one bell rang out the louder than most.
Four years ago, Jai was diagnosed with Alstrom Syndrome
which is one of the rarest genetic diseases in the world. Not only does it
affect your vision and hearing but also makes you susceptible to other
conditions such as diabetes. Since the diagnosis, Sense was there to support
Jai and Pam through all that was to come.
It’s been a busy year for Sense, and as 2019 draws to a close, it’s important to reflect on what’s been achieved over the last 12 months!
one left out of life
the beginning of the year, we launched our new strategy, No one left out of
life, with ambitious goals for the people we support.
what continues to be a challenging environment in all three of the areas Sense
operates in: Charity, Social Care and Retail, I am proud to say we have
continued to expand our services, meeting the needs of an even greater number
of people, without
compromising on our high standards. We are very proud of our record in
social care. It also means our campaigning work is more credible as it is
rooted in the views of those we support and their families, and from our
expertise as a service provider.
This week is National
Adults Safeguarding Week. The aim of the week is to create conversations
and spread awareness about keeping vulnerable adults safe from abuse.
Adult Safeguarding, as defined by the 2014 Care Act is “working
with adults with care and support needs to keep them safe from abuse or
neglect.” It is an important part of what many public services do, and a key
responsibility of local authorities.
Organisations take different approaches to implementing this into everyday support. We asked what safeguarding means to a selection of senior managers, as well as our Sense User Reference Group (SURG). SURG gives people living with complex disabilities the opportunity to share their views of Sense and our services.
In 2018 we all became worried about loneliness. It is not a new problem. But last year and thanks to the Jo Cox Commission, the Minister for Loneliness, the Campaign to End Loneliness, the disability sector working together, and countless other organisations, it has become an urgent one. We also have our first Loneliness Strategy. 2019 is the year in which we seek to tackle the loneliness epidemic.
Sense, Birmingham Botanical Gardens & artist Justin Wiggan have been working together on ‘Sensory Beings: Internal Garden’ funded by Grow Wild. Everything we do at Sense is inspired by the people we support. Sense Arts creates a more equal platform where everyone has the time and space to take part, in whatever way they want. Sensory Beings: Internal Garden is the next chapter of Sense Arts Inclusive Arts Strategy, ‘Space to be Different’.