Our impact

In a year filled with uncertainties, we’re immensely proud of the support we’ve provided and the community we’ve fostered. Thank you to the Sense family, our donors and our volunteers for all that you’ve made possible. 

In 2022, we’ve opened up more services that tackle loneliness and exclusion, give children the earliest opportunity to develop and enable greater access to specialist information and advice. 

Never before have the value and reach of our services been so great. 

Our relationship with Sense has helped Remi do new things, explore, create friendships, and grow in confidence. We’re so grateful for it.

Sukhi, whose daughter Remi receives support from Sense

A message to our supporters:
Together, we make breakthrough moments possible

Descriptive transcript of this video | British Sign Language version

Every child and adult who is deafblind or who has complex disabilities deserves opportunities to live fully. Sense is determined to provide a place where everyone belongs, where difference is valued, and where no one is left out.

Throughout all the challenges and changes of last year, one thing that has remained constant is the resilience and determination of the Sense family. This spirit has allowed us to continue to provide the high-quality care and support that children and adults who are deafblind or have complex disabilities, need.  

We could not have achieved this without you. Thank you.  

Stories from our four key areas of focus

A young boy with a book sits in his mothers lap
Sense strengthened Caroline’s connection with her son and with a community of other CHARGE syndrome families. After that, she knew they weren’t alone.

1. Giving children and families the best possible start

The sooner babies and children with complex disabilities get the right attention, the more likely they are to develop to their full potential. Sense specialists can make a huge difference to how a child like Thomas, who is deafblind and has developmental delay, connect with their family and with the world around them. 

Sense has been there for children and families over the last year:

  • 3,500 children were supported to communicate, connect and play.
  • 500 new families connected with Sense for the first time.
  • 80 sessions were run by Sense to enable parents and carers of children with multi-sensory impairments find practical advice and an understanding community.

In partnership with parents or carers, we want to give each and every child the chance to learn and grow in confidence. 

I felt like I’d been falling and was just now being caught. This other world started opening up as they explained all the things Sense could do with our family to support Thomas.

Caroline, Thomas’s mum

Anxiety kept Martin from stepping outside of his home for over a decade. With Sense, Martin has transformed – he’s even planning a holiday!

2. Supporting adults with complex disabilities live and learn

Sense is there for people at all stages of life; we never stop empowering people to open doors to new opportunities and experiences. For people like Martin, who is blind and has a learning disability, that means being building a life with options. 

Over the last year, Sense has shared many important moments with disabled adults:

  • 335 adults in our residential and supported living services were enabled to return to their lifestyle of choice, post-lockdown.
  • 95% of Sense services were rated as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
  • 322 ambitious young adults were provided with educational opportunities and encouragement across our nine college sites.

We want people to live independently and keep learning throughout their lives.

We are all so proud of Martin for stepping out and trying new and exciting things that enrich and give pleasure to his life.

Sobiah, Martin’s support worker

More stories from the children and adults who made this year so special

3. Offering people a way to tackle loneliness

Jahnavi felt more alone than ever during the pandemic. Through Sense, she found other people with autistic siblings who could relate and connect with her.

Almost two thirds of the 14.6 million disabled people living in the UK are chronically lonely. At Sense, we want everyone to have the tools and confidence to find a route out of isolation. 

In providing more social opportunities for people like Jahnavi, whose younger brother has autism, we continue to expand our reach to include families and carers also facing loneliness.

Sense has been tackling loneliness over the last year:

  • 6,000 people participated in our online and face-to-face meet-ups and activities. 
  • 1,420 arts and wellbeing boxes brought joy to people at home.
  • 234 siblings and young carers of children with complex disabilities received dedicated support.

We provide people with ways to meet, to connect over shared hobbies and have new experiences together.

Having friends like this, like me, helps me not to feel alone. We’re facing our situations together.

Jahnavi, a participant in Sense’s sibling service

Claire and Hugo felt like their family had been left forgotten during the pandemic. She campaigned for government recognition of disabled family’s experiences.

4. Inspiring people to take action

Disabled people and their families have a voice that must be heard in order to inform change. Sense is by their side in the fight for change on a local and national level. 

In partnership with supporters and campaigners, like Claire, whose son Hugo has severe sensory impairments, we pushed media coverage of our work to new levels. Inspiring more people to get behind us and take action. 

Sense’s impact inspiring people to take action last year:

  • 300,000 people engaged with our Covid-19 Inquiry film, and over 60,000 signed our petition.
  • 8,000 signatures were added to our Left Out of Life pledge, to make life more inclusive for disabled people.
  • 1,500 people with complex disabilities shared their experiences with us, as part of a new research programme.

Get involved! Members of our community join us to campaign for change, fundraise for Sense or volunteer at one of our shops or Sense Holidays.

We were thrilled when Claire agreed to join our campaign. Her ongoing support has been invaluable.

Damian, who worked with Claire

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If you would like to support our work

Or give us a call to donate: 0300 330 9257 or donate monthly by text