Volunteer stories

Meet some of our Sense volunteers and find out more about their roles.

We have lots of different volunteering opportunities available across the UK. From volunteering in a Sense Shop or joining a Sense Holiday, to volunteering as a Sense Buddy we hope to find the right role for you.

Want to find out more about volunteering at Sense? Read some of of volunteer stories below.

Chrissy

“I've volunteered to raise money for Sense for over ten years now. It started when I was elected as the District Chairman of District 6 Heart of England Inner Wheel Clubs and I had to go and visit a trainee who was working at a Sense centre. I'd never heard of Sense before but remember the day vividly. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and all I could think was how lucky I was that I could experience it and how difficult it must be for people who were deafblind. The way the Sense staff were supporting people made such a huge impact on me. From that day on, I dedicated myself to raising money for Sense wherever I could and every penny raised, Sense thoroughly deserves.”

Community fundraising

Chrissy is one of our community fundraising volunteers. Community fundraising is incredibly important to us for so many reasons; being out in local communities organising events and raising funds, talking about what we do, who we support and how much more we can achieve with more people joining us.  

Yee Neng

“Volunteering is always a challenge for me as there isn’t much free time at university. When I received the email about Sense Buddying, I decided to make time for the things I'm passionate about. Being a buddy for a young person is a huge responsibility but for me, it's so meaningful. Just taking the time to talk has helped my young person to feel less isolated and alone. I'm so happy I made the decision to volunteer for Sense and hope it will continue for years to come.”

Sense Buddying

Our buddying projects are about developing friendships and fighting loneliness through shared interests. Volunteers are an integral part of these projects; bringing a diverse range of skills, experiences and interests, meaning we can offer a highly personalised service to the people we support by making matches based on mutual interests. Yee Neng is a Sense Buddying volunteer providing support to a young person.  

Chris

“My journey through Sense has been a varied and winding one. Initially, I volunteered at a Sense Shop as a way to take a career break and regroup my thoughts. During this time, I worked with a wonderful team who made the days amazing but I began to notice how I could shape the organisation in a way that called on my previous experiences. Soon after becoming Shop Manager, a position opened up as Diversity and Inclusion Lead which I was successful in getting. Now, I am in a position to steer how the entire organisation views Diversity and Inclusion and, it all started by volunteering my time for an organisation I believed in.”

Sense Shops

Our volunteers help us run over 100 shops across England and Wales. Chris was one of these volunteers; giving his time to support his local Sense Shop. Our shops are at the heart of local communities – sharing the work of Sense, and helping to raise vital income for our life-changing work.

Jack

“Many years ago, I remember seeing the Sense Christmas advert and it made quite an impression on me. Throughout the years, I'd done voluntary work but never in a holiday setting. I was quite nervous going but felt really supported by the team and my fellow volunteers. That being said, nothing could prepare me for the whirlwind of emotions that came with my first Sense Holiday. Watching the holidaymakers become more confident and making friends was really special but, hearing how important the break is for families has kept me coming back year after year.”

Sense Holidays

Jack gives his time to volunteer as part of the Sense Holidays team. Volunteers have an essential role on our Sense Holidays; making sure that every child, young person and adult involved in our activities can enjoy the holiday experience they wish for, and provide a high standard of care and support.

Valerie

“I only started volunteering when the lights from the building works at Sense were shining through my window. Seeing the work, they were doing to provide an outdoor space for the people they support was amazing. As a professional gardener, I temporarily offered my services until long term volunteers were found. That was three years ago, and my husband and I love to plan and maintain Sense’s sensory garden. My selection of plants was based on touch, fragrance and colour which has also encouraged insects and wildlife to this relaxing garden, a place for everyone to enjoy which keeps me coming back.”

TouchBase and Sense Centres

Valerie volunteers in the Sensory Garden at TouchBase South East, Barnet. Our TouchBase and Sense Centres provide accessible day opportunities to learn, develop communication and living skills, and connect with other people. Volunteers get involved in various different ways to support the activities delivered from these centres.