As a leading disability and social care charity,
Sense is committed to making sure no one, no matter how complex their
disability, is left out, isolated or unable to fulfil their potential.
Never has a mission been so important yet
so complex to deliver. As the leader of the Arts, Sport and Wellbeing team at
Sense, I want to let you know what approach we are taking to support people
during this incredibly challenging period.
I have visited many projects and events during my thirty
years as Patron of Sense and Sense International. From my involvement, I know
that living with deafblindness or complex disabilities can be extremely
This is an uncertain time for everyone including the adults, children and families that Sense supports. A break of structure and not seeing familiar faces regularly can have devastating effects on the people we support which, in turn, affects the whole family. Sense staff are finding new, innovative and creative ways to provide much needed support and care. Take our services in Northern Ireland, for example. Maintaining physical distancing in a safe way has not stopped the staff team from being socially active in the lives of the people they support.
These are challenging times for the parents and carers of children who are deafblind or those with complex disabilities, who are now at home without access to their usual support networks. It’s so important that children are still able to get creative, play and have fun, so we wanted to share some fantastic sensory activities which you can do at home with your children. Here are a short series of films that demonstrate how you can support children at home to keep them happy and stimulated.
Relections on the huge impact Covid-19 has had on our charity
“What keeps you awake at night?” This is a question that is often asked of CEOs. Coronavirus has turned this question on its head. The world has reshaped itself faster than we can reshape ourselves: since Covid-19, no-one can predict the world with any certainty now.
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.
The news has been dominated by stories about coronavirus in recent weeks, and the potential impact it could have across all levels of society. So it’s not surprising that coronavirus was a main focus of today’s Budget. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced the Government is creating an emergency response fund to ensure the NHS and other public services have the resources needed to tackle the impact of coronavirus. Initially set at £5 billion, it will also support local authorities to manage pressures on social care and support vulnerable people.
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.