Sense volunteer newsletter, February 2023

We’ve changed our newsletter format to make it easier for you to find updates, important information and sign up for events.

You’ll also find news from across Sense and our other volunteering roles. See something that interests you? Just get in touch with the team at [email protected] to chat about all the ways involved with Sense.

Let’s get into it. Follow the links to navigate this newsletter.

We’re looking for experienced volunteers for Sense Holidays

Sense Holidays are a chance for people with complex disabilities to join action-packed holidays around the UK. They make a massive difference in the lives of disabled people and their families, and they’re all made possible by our volunteers.

We’re looking for volunteers with experience in BSL, supporting disabled people or who would be comfortable driving a minibus to join this year’s new and improved summer schedule. If you’re looking to try a different volunteering opportunity with Sense, learn more and email [email protected] to sign up.

“Volunteering on Sense Holidays is really rewarding. I’ve forged such strong bonds with the holidaymakers and tried things I would never do on my own.”

Jenny, seven-time holiday volunteer

Buddying inspo

Stuck for ideas for new activities with your buddy? Here’s some inspiration:

Virtual buddying activities

If you need some session inspiration, why not tie your activities to what is going on in the wider world? One of our pairs, JS and KO, celebrated Burns Night in January by making the following fantastic Scottish flag form upcycled materials!

Here are some other ideas you can carry forward from events in the February calendar. Some may have already happened, but it’s never too late!

  • Thursday, February 9th was National Pizza Day! Do you NEED a better excuse to get baking with your Virtual Buddy? Let us know if you’d like a supermarket voucher to get your ingredients, and then get creative whipping up some tasty Italian treats! Don’t forget to send us pictures of your creations!  
  • Monday, February 20th was Love Your Pet Day! It could be your own pet, your Buddies, a friends’, or a family member’s…whoever your four-legged, feathered, or finned friend is, why not celebrate them with your Virtual Buddy by doing a pet-themed craft activity, some animal-themed creative writing or plan a pet-themed quiz to test your knowledge?  
  • You can also find some great Valentine’s Day craft ideas here  – thanks for sharing, Dee! 
  • And finally, don’t forget the wonderful World Book Day falls on Thursday, 2nd March 2023. Whether you’re matched with a child or an adult, get stuck in with some crafts based on your favourite books or characters, or even dress up and have a book-themed virtual tea party- don’t forget to send us the pics!  

Buddying activities


Golden Mummies of Egypt Exhibition (free): Explore Ancient Egypt for yourself! The museum aims to be ‘the most inclusive and caring’ they can be, with a quiet room, sensory bags, and other inclusive features.

  • Address: Manchester Museum, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PL
  • Date/Times: 18th February- 31st December 2023, 10am – 5pm (Saturdays 8am – 5pm) 

Circus Funtasia (£8 plus £0.67 booking fee): Bear witness to some amazing feats… hear the roar of motorbike engines, feel the heat of the fire-breathers flames, see stunning aerialists and a hair raising performance on the Wheel of Deathand laugh out loud with award-winning comedian ‘The Geek’. Book online at TicketSource. 

  • Address: Wythenshawe Park (Entrance off Gib Lane), M23 0BA
  • Date/Time: 16th – 26th February 2023, various times 

Bury Transport Museum: Find a treasure trove of vintage vehicles to discover and period costumes to try on, alongside loads of hands-on activities to get stuck into. The museum opens on 11th March.

  • Address: Castlecroft Goods Warehouse, Bolton St, Bury BL9 0EY. 
  • Date/Time: From Saturday 11th March, 10am – 4pm 

Quiet Sundays at The Whitworth Art Gallery (free): Join these multi-sensory, open-ended family play sessions every last Sunday of the month at the Whitworth Art Gallery. They are designed for a quieter experience, with children leading the way in their own time and at their own pace. Held in the School of Creativity space, they are free and there’s no need to book – just turn up any time between 10.30am and 12.30pm. The next one is Sunday 26th February.  

  • Address: The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER
  • Date/Time: Every last Sunday of the month  


Mighty Mega at Discover Children’s Story Centre – Saturdays up until 1st April. A free club for disabled children and children with SEN, and their families or carers. On Saturday mornings, explore Discover’s magical and accessible play spaces, take part in craft activities, and join a visiting artist for a creative workshop. Plus, access digital resources to explore at home in your own time.  

Changing Currents at SPACE Ilford – From 8th February – 1st June. Can we build a better world together? An Exhibition co-created with Arup and Beal High School.

Story Tech Coding and Animation at Fulwell Cross Library – Saturday 4th and Saturday 18th March. Join us for story tech coding and animation fortnightly at 2pm. Booking is essential please call or email the library to sign up.

Frozen Jr at Kenneth More Theatre – 17th, 18th and 19th March. A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen JR. Expands upon the emotional relationship and journey between Princesses Anna and Elsa. 

Deafening Wernicke at Redbridge Drama Centre – Thursday 9th March. A new play written by Stephanie Barrows and David Alexander to celebrate International Women’s Week (6-11 March 2023) and British Sign Language Week (13-17 March 2023).   

Redbridge Schools’ Choral Festival at Royal Albert Hall – Monday 13th March. The event will feature students fromRedbridge Primary and Secondary Schools, Redbridge Music Service, Redbridge Youth Theatre,andRedbridge Drama and Dance Course.

Volunteer of the month, Gabriella – Virtual Buddying

Gabriella has been with her buddy, CS, since August last year. In just a few short months she has formed an incredible bond with CS!  

Since getting to know one another, they have done everything from baking sweet treats to researching music from around the world. They’ve also played some wonderful music virtually together, as they are both very talented musicians!  CS has also begun to open up and become more confident in his communication skills. Congratulations Gabriella – thank you so much for your time and amazing effort and keep up the great work! 

A woman stands on a bridge in front of a river on a sunny day

Being a Virtual Buddy can feel daunting, but after meeting CS it sort of fell into place. He is wonderful and cheerful and takes the pressure off things. We found mutual likes and he excuses my novice musical skills. He teaches me many things as well. It leads me to interesting topics like music history of different regions, I would have never otherwise considered researching. A highlight definitely was seeing him tuck into a brownie we both made. He was loving it!


Contact details

Virtual Buddying

If you have ANY safeguarding concerns during the coming month, please call or email your assigned Sense staff as soon as possible between the hours of 9am-5:00pm.  

If your concern is more urgent and you need to speak to someone immediately or during non-working hours, please use the Sense on-call number: 07557220433

Alice Green( Project Coordinator: [email protected], 07518902681

Deanne Echarri (Project Assistant): [email protected], 07816599138

Jerry Dawson (Project Assistant): [email protected], 07816643093

Sam Parkinson (Project Assistant): [email protected], 07816643187

Rosanna Lowe (Project Assistant): [email protected], 07967 274333

Day buddying

On-call number: 07557220433


Email: [email protected]

Got an idea for how to improve Sense vounteering?

Got an idea for how to improve volunteering at Sense? Want to share some feedback? Or do you just want to ask a question and chat about your experience?

Contact us at [email protected].

Join the Sense mission

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