To all our supporters: thank you from the bottom of my heart

As 2023 draws to a close, our Chief Executive Richard looks back on the last year and the difference our supporters make.

Every year, around this time, I look back at what Sense has achieved in the last 12 months. And every year, as I reflect, I’m struck by how much of what we do as an organisation would not be possible without the generosity of our supporters.

It’s been a tough year out there. As an organisation, it’s meant we’ve had to adapt.

I know that many of you will have had to adapt, too. It’s what makes me all the more grateful that you’ve chosen to continue to give up your time, energy or money to help us keep doing what we do.

Your support has meant we could reach more people than before, in more places than before, both in communities and online. For instance, while others had closed services in Loughborough, we opened a new hub meeting the needs of the community.

Your support meant for the first time in our history, we could give direct, unrestricted grants of £500 to help disabled households on low incomes. This financial support made a crucial difference to families in a period of dire need, but this cannot be an excuse for government not to fulfil its duties.

Your support has helped made sure people with complex disabilities and their families are heard on this issue. Our cost of living campaign has pushed hard for more financial support for disabled families. And elsewhere, our Give Carers a Break campaign demonstrated the urgent need for improvements to respite services.

And your support has meant we could raise more awareness of deafblindness and complex disabilities than ever, so no one is left out of life. You helped us make a big splash on Deafblind Awareness Week by sharing our video busting myths about what it’s like to be deafblind.

It’s only together, with your help, that we can continue to make progress. In the tough world we live in, I’m so grateful that we have amazing supporters like you to help us get there.

So this Christmas, as I reflect on the year just gone, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.