Keeping Sense Connected

People looking through a magnifying glass.

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.

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Above and Beyond

Three brightly coloured homemade sensory boards lying flat on the floor.
A selection of homemade sensory boards.

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.

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Introducing sensory play – how you can keep your children happy and stimulated at home

A young child dipping their feet in a water bowl with toys floating in it.

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.

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What Keeps You Awake at Night?

Relections on the huge impact Covid-19 has had on our charity

A smiling man with a man eating

“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. 

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No one should be left out of life

Headshot of Richard Kramer, who is smiling into the camera.
Richard Kramer, Sense Chief Executive.

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.

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Once upon a time…

A young girl eating fruit, sitting with her mother
Jessica sitting with her mum.

Books and 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 been greater.

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Saying Hello to Sense

Two ladies standing in Portcullis House smiling next to a Sense banner

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.

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Government must deal with the social care crisis once and for all

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.

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Speaking the same language

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.

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