Getting into the spirit of Christmas with Martin

Each year that Martin’s been with Sense, he’s unwrapped new pleasures that make his life richer. He’s come a long way; now he gets so much out of going for a Christmas meal out or to see a panto performance! Here’s his key worker, Sobiah, spreading Martin’s Christmas cheer.

Before coming to Sense, Martin had a lot of anxieties. These centred around having people in his house and going outdoors – even opening a window would be challenging. He’s done incredibly well to overcome these feelings of unease.

At Christmas, all the ways that Martin’s behaviour and outlook on life have changed really shine through.  

Descriptive transcript

The film starts with Martin, a middle-aged man with dark skin, dressed in winter outerwear. He leaves his home with a Sense support worker. He gets into the back seat of his car. 

Sobiah: Christmas for Martin has improved so much over the years. Now, at Christmas, we always go for a pre-Christmas dinner where staff will take Martin out and then he’ll have his miniature Christmas party with a couple of members of staff. 

We see Sobiah. She is wearing a Burgandy dress and a brown hijab. She is sitting in Martins back garden speaking to camera. We then see Sobiah and Martin back at Martin’s home. Sobiah is platting up Martin’s favourite meal of fish and chips. 

Martin sits down to enjoy his food. 

Sobiah: We actually make him a Christmas dinner and get him involved in the process of cooking his Christmas meal, opening presents throughout the day and Martin doesn’t get a small amount of presents. 

He gets presents from Secret Santa, other service users, and then opening presents in an another environment, not his home. 

So it might just be everyday things for me and you, but it’s definitely been positive for Martin. 

We see Martin and Sobiah standing on the grass outside the front of his bungalow.  

Two dots fade into scene. Orange on the left and purple on the right. The dots spin around the screen then comes together in the centre, forming two hands with the letter S in the middle. This is the Sense logo. Text appears below the logo. 

Voiceover: Sense. No one left out of life 

An appetite for new experiences

Martin and Sobiah at Coleridge primary school, for the Christmas panto.

Festivities in Martin’s household start early. It usually begins with a pre-Christmas dinner at a local restaurant, which he really enjoys. Martin gets a lot of pleasure from food – as we all do at this time of year! When you think that, not that long ago, he’d wouldn’t even step outside into his garden, going out to a restaurant is an amazing milestone.

We’ll be there for a few hours, while Martin enjoys a full three courses of dinner, and a hot drink. It’s still quite new for him, but he’s more and more relaxed in new environments. Now, he seems to really enjoy the atmosphere.

It seems like such a small thing, but these experiences really bring a smile to his face – to all our faces.

Last year, Martin attended his first ever Christmas panto. Oh yes he did! Sense Centre Rotherham partnered with Coleridge primary school, organising a pantomime and inviting individuals supported by Sense. It was a special rendition of ‘Jack and the beanstalk’.

Martin got really into the spirit of it, calling out the famous panto lines and singing along throughout. That was a really proud moment for us. It’s so rewarding to see Martin stepping out and trying new things that bring him so much pleasure.

Getting festive on the big day

On Christmas Day, we have a mini-Christmas party. His team will make him a full Christmas dinner, involving Martin in the process of preparing the meal. He’s very proud of having his own home and is always happy to get stuck in with jobs like cooking and housework.

Just like everyone else celebrating Christmas, the next most important thing is presents! Martin doesn’t get a small number of presents – he gets gifts from Secret Santa, from his team, his family and from other people supported by Sense.

This year, Martin will enjoy another Christmas with all the trimmings! We can’t wait to see what more he’ll accomplish in 2023.

Over the last year, Sense has shared many important moments with disabled adults like Martin.

You can learn more about our work, the people we’ve reached and Martin’s incredible journey with Sense here, on Our Impact page.