Why we’re bringing more support for disabled people to Leicestershire with Sense Hub Loughborough

With our new hub in Loughborough opening this week, Rachel who heads up our programmes talks about why bringing more support for disabled people to the East Midlands is important.

Descriptive transcript of the video

What is Sense Hub Loughborough?

If you live in Leicestershire, you might have already heard of Sense College Loughborough, a specialist education service for young people aged 16-25. The college has been hugely successful here for a number of years.

Sense Hub Loughborough expands the existing site to include 3 brand new, fully accessible studio spaces. Each one is filled with bespoke furniture, assistive tech, sensory toys, musical instruments and sports equipment. The first time I saw the rooms, I just wanted to get stuck in and explore, there’s so much to do!

Every studio provides exciting new activities and opportunities for disabled people of all ages including:

A large bright room filled will children's toys and furniture. There shelfing unit shaped like a house, filled with colourful books, a blackboard that says 'Welcome', colourful beanbags to sit on and cupboards with colourful braille dots on the front.
  • Visual arts, music and dance workshops.
  • Sports and physical activities.
  • Specialist support for children with complex disabilities aged 0-8.
  • Employment support.
  • Weekend and holiday clubs.

Why are we opening new services in Loughborough?

As well as having well established services in this area already, we know from our research that there are an estimated 5,774 people with complex disabilities in Charnwood Borough Council. By 2030, that will rise to around 7,702 people.

We also know that levels of isolation and loneliness are higher than average amongst disabled people in the region. One in two (51 per cent) disabled people in the East Midlands experience chronic loneliness and more than a third (34 per cent) say they have nowhere in their community to go to meet people and make friends.

Sense Hub Loughborough gives disabled people a place to do just that! To come together, meet new people, make friends and try exciting new things.

The difference we’re making

The new sessions that we’re hosting here at the hub are going to make a huge difference to those that access them, for so many reasons.

Our sports sessions encourage people to move more and be active in new, fun ways and the effects last a lot longer than the sessions. Take our dance programme, Jacob has gone from being an observer to finding his rhythm and becoming more sociable outside of dance classes.

Children and their families learn to better communicate in our connect and play sessions. They know that they’re in a safe space, free to explore and try new things without judgement and with specialist support from Sense staff. And it’s the same for our weekend clubs, young people can have a go at something new, that parents might be a little bit unsure about. If it goes well, it’s an activity they can then do together at home as a family.

Come and see what we have to offer

Sense Hub Loughborough is now open with a range of fun activities for you to try out and support for you to access. Most of our sessions are free and there’s no commitment. Come and have a go at something new and if it isn’t for you, try another session.

If you want something gentle we have activities like seated yoga and body massage or if you love the outdoors try a sensory walk. If you’re creative try dance, visual arts or music, or if you’re a parent looking for a suitable activity for your child, our Movers and Shakers sessions are lots of fun!

Support Sense Hub Loughborough

We’re very grateful to all the trusts, foundations and individuals who’ve given generously to help us open the doors and make Sense Hub Loughborough a reality.

If you’d like to know more about how your support could make a difference, please get in touch with Michelle Williams, Head of Hubs Engagement by emailing [email protected].