Sense Family Centre Woodside, Bristol (Woodside Family Centre)

Some of our services for children who are deafblind, young people and their families in the West are based at the Sense Family Centre, Woodside in Bristol. This centre provides a range of services for children who are deafblind or have a multi-sensory impairment.

A toddler holds a woman's fingerThe Centre has several rooms, each providing a different environment for children to explore.

Activity room

This provides a tailor-made environment offering many ways to stimulate the senses to motivate children to play, explore and learn. The blackout curtains and projectors create a variety of light effects, and the sound activator and microphones allow children to have fun with sound. The room offers a large space where children can stretch and move, swing, and bounce on the trampoline.


This is where families come together to sing and play during our weekly sessions. There is also a large assortment of toys and activities for making music, story and picture books to share, messy fun in the sand and water tray, plus dressing up or pretending in the home and shop corners.

Parent room and toy library 

This is a relaxing area for families to sit around and have a chat. We also have many sensory toys for parents to borrow. The toys in the library are jointly owned by Sense Avon Parents Resource, Look West and the Sense Family Centre Woodside.

Sense Family Centre Woodside works with a sister charity, Look West, and the Sense Avon branch to develop this resource for families.

We also have a range of leaflets, brochures and magazines that contain much information of use to families, including details of special schools and activities in the area.

Sensory room

Our special sensory (Snoezelen) room is a relaxing environment in which children and their parents can enjoy discovering new sensory experiences. There are high levels of visual contrast in the room and it can be set up to offer just one light source at a time which encourages the use of vision. Similarly, children with a hearing loss are encouraged to vocalise by using light sources that move in response to sounds. We also have a Soundbed which transfers music to vibration.

What happens at the Centre?

We hold a weekly pre-school group for deafblind / multi-sensory impaired children and their parents / carers and siblings, called Twiglets.The group runs every week on Fridays between 10.30am and 2pm. 

There is a weekly drop-in group for pre-school children – Woodpeckers - which runs every Wednesday between 2pm and 4pm.

"I’ve made so many friends here. We see each other outside and do activities together as a group." 
Elliot’s mum 

Cost: Free to Sense members, non members £3 per child.

There is also a Saturday Club which is run by parents on the first and third Saturday of every month.

The Children’s Specialist Service team run several Family Days each year, at a range of venues. View a list of all our Family Days.

Woodside Family Centre is also used as a base for us to conduct holistic assessments

Who we are

Several members of the Children’s Specialist Services team are based at the Woodside Family Centre:

Simon Phillimore – a senior children and family support worker
Karen Morrison – a music therapist

How to find us

Map and directions to the Woodside Family Centre

PLEASE NOTE: Entrance to the centre is via the Kingswood Foundation Estate, Britannia Rd, Bristol. 
Please use satnav postcode BS15 8BN for the entrance to the estate and then refer to the map and directions on how to find us.

Postal address:

Sense Family Centre Woodside
Kingswood Foundation Estate
Britannia Road
BS15 8DB

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 at the Woodside Family Centre, please contact us. One of our team will call you to tell you more about what we do and how that might help your deafblind child.

Contact us

Phone: 0117 967 0008
Fax: 0117 967 0008

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