23-year-old Beth Jones takes on a 100 Mile Cycle race, and raises money to support disabled adults, like her brother.

🚴 23-year-old Beth Jones was inspired to take part in the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 to raise money for Sense, after seeing first-hand the difference we make to the people we support, including to her brother Callum.

Beth’s brother Callum has epilepsy and severe learning difficulties, and attends our Sense day centre in Streatley, Bedfordshire. We support Callum by removing barriers of communication, which gives him the opportunity to connect and experience the world!

Girl and boy are posing for a photo together.

“Despite the challenges that Callum faces, he has always been happy, curious and engaged with all the world has to offer.” – Beth

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Free Personal Care: Is it the solution to the social care crisis?

One person is being supported to have her cup of tea given to her.

There are currently a lot of ideas being discussed about how to reform the social care system. One of the top proposals for solving the social care crisis is Free Personal Care, but what does it mean, and how would it affect the people Sense supports? 

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Why work for Sense? Find out for yourself at a Job Fair, coming to a town near you soon!

A man is being supported by a lady who is touching his hands whilst signing to him.

Are you looking for a new job?  Or considering a career change?  Sense has a wonderful array of career and volunteering opportunities available, and will be appearing at a series of Job Fairs across the country this year to promote them.

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Together we can do so much: Celebrating Helen Keller Day

Two ladies wearing dresses. One woman is looking at another. They both have their hair tied up.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller.

Many people are familiar with ‘The Miracle Worker’ and the story of Helen Keller. She has appeared in Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential figures of the 20th century and during her life, rubbed shoulders with the political and literary elite. However, this was just the tip of the iceberg. At Sense, we see her as a communicator, an educator, an activist and a beacon of kindness. From the moment she understood the word ‘water’, she spent her life challenging people’s perceptions of what it means to be deafblind.Today we are celebrating Helen Keller Day. She made it her life’s work to ensure that no one was left out of life and her achievements have inspired people all over the world. We have put together some of our favourite facts about Keller.

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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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Getting Carers Connected – Combatting loneliness among carers.

Carers Week logo. Text reads 'Getting Carers Connected'.

We’re proud to be one of the seven organisations taking part in this week’s Carers Week (10-16 June) which recognises the 8.8 million carers who provide invaluable support to their loved ones, day-in and day-out. We know from our daily work with carers, as well as the research from our When I’m Gone campaign, that being a carer for a disabled loved one brings with it a number of triumphs and joys but also a number of challenges.

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Jai: He sees no evil, hears no evil and he is my son!

Young boy sat in a wheelchair and his mother stands behind holding onto his chair.

Jai is incredibly cheeky. He sees no evil, hears no evil and he is my son.

People do look at his dark glasses and hearing aids. They do ask what it is like to have a child with a degenerative disease; but I always say that Jai is Jai. He loves football and the police; too much at times to the point it can sometimes get him into trouble.

Put yourselves in my shoes for a moment; you receive a phone call from the school that your child with disabilities attends. Immediately your heart is in your throat and you fear for the worst. The drive to the headmistress’s office is the longest of your life and obviously every light turns red. As you push the heavy door, you are greeted with your son’s smiling face and the stern headmistress. Then you find out why you have been called; your son’s love of the police has gone too far and he has tried to arrest another student.

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Great tunes bring best mates together

Asif and Ashton’s love of music first brought them together eight years ago, and they have been best friends ever since. Every lunchtime at Sense Centre Streatley, they sit together at the piano to play and sing their favourite tunes, occasionally they dance, and always they will increasingly collapse into fits of giggles and laughter.

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Growing in confidence: with a Sense volunteer Buddy.

Two ladies smiling at the camera and one lady has one hand in the air.

Laely’s confidence to communicate and connect with the world is coming on leaps and bounds, thanks to Jenny, her volunteer Sense Buddy.

Laely is non-verbal and uses facial expressions, gestures, vocalisations and picture symbols to express herself.

Since joining the Sense Buddying scheme, Laely has developed a trusting, supportive friendship with her Sense Buddy.

Jenny has become an expert in Laely’s communication methods. They share many lovely moments of connection and plenty of giggles. Drawing together has become a unique means of conversation between the two, with Laely and Jenny taking turns to add to a picture before Laely proudly shows off the finished piece.

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A new dance landscape

Sense Arts has been exploring imaginative ways of supporting people with complex disabilities to be dance leaders in the future. To develop this, a new partnership between Sense, pioneering disabled choreographer Lisa Simpson, and dancers from InterACTION are creating a new dance landscape.

Group of people positioned in an art formation with some standing up and some sat down/ lying down.

One of the guiding principles of Lisa Simpson’s dance sessions is that there is equality between everyone taking part: between instructors and students, disabled and non-disabled. A dance session is co-created between everyone who is taking part, where each person is part of a bigger whole.

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