Sense Family Centre, Barnet (Hadley Family Centre)

Our Centre

Some of our services for children, young people and their families in the South are based at Sense Family Centre, Barnet (Hadley Family Centre).

A woman and boy looking at a bottle of yello liquidSense Family Centre, Barnet is a purpose-designed family centre, made modern, homely and accessible for children and young people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs and their families. The Hadley Centre has a number of rooms, each providing a different environment for children to explore.

The Sensory Room

We have a state of the art sensory room that has been designed for children and young people with multi-sensory impairments, as well as other needs.  Using a sensory room to stimulate a child’s senses can be key to helping deafblind children to make the best use of whatever residual sight and hearing they have. The room is also popular with the families who attend our weekly pre-school Sparkles sessions.

The Activities Room

This bright room houses specialist equipment and toys aimed at stimulating the senses and encouraging children to have fun.  The room is a perfect place for fun music and craft activities to take place. The Activity Room is also used for assessments, parent workshop sessions and family days.

The Living Room

The living room with large comfortable sofas and kitchenThis room is a relaxing space for families to meet other families; to sit down, have a cup of tea and chat to each other, supporting each other and sharing ideas. There are sofas to chill out on and a dining table if anyone fancies something to eat.

The Kitchen

There is a new fully accessible modern kitchen complete with height adjustable sink, hob and work surface. 

Resource library

Specialist sensory toys can often be expensive or difficult to find. Items from the toy library can be borrowed to provide different play opportunities and to discover whether a toy is suitable for a child. Many of our toy purchases have been made possible by donations from individuals and local organisations who support our work.

The Centre is also located just opposite our TouchBase South East centre, which has facilities that children can access. These include a hydropool, a gym with trampoline and a music suite. 

Scenes from Bear Hunt, including paw prints on the wall and a water fabric sceneWe’re Going on a Bear Hunt

Thanks to Santander and the work of an artist, Kirsti Davies, our centre is themed around the children’s story We’re going on a Bear Hunt. We have multi-sensory interactive panels around the building depicting each part of the story that children can explore and play with as they move around the building.

What happens at the Centre

Several members of the Children's Specialist Services team are based at The Hadley Family Centre including Children and Family Support Workers, MSI Consultant Teachers and our Practice Lead (Quality and Safeguarding) Claire Farris. The team offer a range of support to families to include:

"It's like a big network for us. You can have a chat, have a coffee and talk about issues you've got with your child. I've had so many tips from people." 
Ruby's mum Lesley

A weekly pre-school group for children with sensory impairment and additional needs and their parents / carers, called Sparkles. The group runs every week on Tuesdays between 10.30am and 12.00pm. 

The Children's Specialist Service team run several Family Days each year, at the Family Centre and other venues. A list of all our Family Days can be found on our events calendar page.

The centre is also used as a base for Sense staff to conduct holistic assessments and to run other occasional specialist sessions like the Tuning In programme. The Centre also provides a venue for meetings with professionals.

Blue lava lamp

Every Thursday there is a drop-in session where parents can visit the centre and get information and advice from a specialist support worker. The Drop in is open from 10am – 12pm and parents are welcome to visit us with or without their children.

We have after-school and short breaks activities available for all children with a disability in the local area, if you are looking for this provision please contact Lorna Slee, Children’s Hub Manager for more information about these services.

There are also opportunities to hire the Sensory Room, Activity room or the whole centre, and participate in additional groups and activities, please see our brochure and leaflet for further information and contact details.

The centre is run and managed by Lorna Slee, Children's Hub Manager

How to refer children to our services

If you think your child, or a child you are working with, could benefit from the specialist support provided by the Children's Specialist Services team please contact our Information and Advice service on 0300 330 9256. Someone from our team will call you to tell you more about what we do and how that might help your deafblind child.

If you think your child, or a child you are working with, would benefit from attending our after-school or short breaks provision, please contact Lorna Slee, who will be able to give you further information on this service and the referral process.

Contact us

Sense Family Centre
12 Hyde Close
High Barnet
London EN5 5TJ

Tel: 0300 330 9273
Fax: 0300 330 9274

Download directions to Sense Centre Barnet (Word 2MB)

Download information about Sense Centre Barnet (PDF 600KB)

First published: Monday 14 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 7 November 2017