Sense volunteer newsletter, May 2023

We’re looking for volunteers to join us at Birmingham in May. Find out how you can sign up.

We’ve also got some exciting events coming up, highlights from last month, and tons of ideas for your buddying sessions.

Upcoming events

Virtual Buddying monthly competition!

Virtual Buddying Monthly Competition
This May, we want to you to get your poetry writing skills going. The theme is, ‘what am I grateful for?’
Send your entries to [email protected].

Celebrate Birmingham Pride 2023 with us this May! 

We’re excited to announce that Sense will have a charity stall at Birmingham Pride on 27 May! To ensure the stall runs smoothly, we need wonderful volunteers like you to help us out! 

For a few hours, you would be supporting us by informing the public of your role at Sense, what it is like to volunteer, and why volunteers are so important for the people we support!

We’re keen to hear from volunteers who are passionate about diversity or who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Contact [email protected] if you would like more information. Spaces are limited, so apply quickly.

Buddying inspo

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

Virtual buddying activities

Here are some events coming up that you can mark with your buddy: 

Mental Health Awareness Week 15 – 21 May: Get involved with raising awareness for mental health, take a look at some activity ideas. 

Sausage Roll Day 5th June: Why not celebrate all things sausage rolls! There’s a good recipe here and a vegan one here

Buddying activities

Remember to send us pictures of any activities you guys do together!


Junior Watersports Sessions at Debdale Outdoors Centre,1073 Hyde Rd, Gorton Manchester, M18 7LJ 

When: Saturday mornings and afternoons – Ongoing 

Cost – £10 per child 

Learn some new skills and have fun out in the open water and fresh air! You can enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, windsurfing or sailing. The website has a kit list of things to bring but will provide equipment like wet suits. Participants must be between the ages of 7 & 17 and must be water confident, however the ability to swim is not required. 

Make Your Mark Clay Workshop, People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER 

When: Wednesday 31st May 2023, 10am –12pm  

Cost: Free

Come along and make a community-inspired item with clay and your hands.  All materials are provided for you to make a colourful item to express yourself. An artist will be there to guide and support your creativity. 

Starchitects: A Cosmic Space Adventure, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 4FN 

When: 1st– 3rd June – Relaxed performance on Saturday 2nd June at 11am  

Cost: Please speak to one of the team if you would like to go and we will explore prices with HOME.  

As we join this theatrical adventure, Starchitects allows us to revisit the magic of our childhood imagination where anything is possible…when a cardboard box can be a train and a dressing up box is the start of countless thrilling adventures. 


Redbridge Parks Tennis Launch – Sunday 11th June 

The morning session will be at Valentine’s Park and the afternoon session will take place at Goodmayes Park. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to participate in several FREE coaching sessions delivered by the National Tennis coaching team, catering to all ages and abilities. Book your spot now before they’re all gone! 

Night Owls at the Science Museum – Saturday 27th May (6:30pm – 9:30pm) 

Free (booking needed, 16+) 

Night Owls is a sensory friendly event for visitors aged 16+ who need a quieter environment to enjoy the museum. 

Introduction to BushcraftSaturday 13 May (10:30am – 3:30pm)  

Hainault Forest Country Park. Ages 16+. Tickets £10. 

Join Tinder Sticks for an adult bushcraft workshop discovering basic bushcraft skills. This session will focus on how to make fire using natural materials and the importance of shelter, as well as how to find and purify water and learning how to whittle! Develop your outdoor confidence in a beautiful woodland setting. 

Last month’s highlight: the Virtual Buddying volunteer social

Last month’s online social was a fantastic event!

Emma shared her musical theatre-themed wedding planning, Mo told us about his new mentoring course, and Victoria made us jealous of her upcoming visit to visiting the Whitby Goth Festival! We even held a coronation-themed Quiz, with Alice as Quizmaster.

We also shared highlights from recent buddying sessions. For example, Janesh told us about how his buddy, who is selectively mute, has been communicated more openly lately. Well done for building such a great relationship with your buddy, Janesh!

We can’t wait for the next volunteer social in July. Email [email protected] to join.

A woman smiles at the camera

Volunteer of the month – Cassie

Cassie has been part of the Sense Holiday family since 2020! She first volunteered for Sense Buddying in London before joining a Sense Holiday in Butlins in 2021!

After Butlins, Cassie was hooked and is now a Sense Holidays regular.

Cassie has even volunteered for Sense Virtual Buddying too. Cassie is an all-round good egg, and we are so grateful to have her support 

Important information

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

Manchester Buddies: 

Manchester Buddies – please remember to provide feedback after each session.

On-call number: 07757 220433

Kate Weston (Programme Coordinator): [email protected], 07855 011752 

Amy Lasen (Programme Assistant): [email protected] 

Redbridge Buddying Programme 

Lucy Campbell (Programme Coordinator): [email protected], 07973 792420

Carre Smyth (Programme Assistant): [email protected], 07815 996064 

The LEAP Team 

Camilla McCready-Pay (Programme coordinator): [email protected], 07876870941 

Jane Chanakira (Programme Assistant): [email protected], 07816498781 

Niamh Milligan (Programme Assistant): [email protected], 07815996206 


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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