My name is Suzannah Jones; I’m a mum of 6 boys and the founder of Sense Abilities.
Sense Abilities is an organisation that wants to make sensory accessible to all.
Sensory stimulation is in fact all around us in our everyday lives through the textures of nature to the smell of baking bread in a shop. A Multi-sensory rich environment can be Educational, Stimulating, Relaxing and Therapeutic and with a wide range of equipment can stimulate all senses including sight, touch, sound and smell.
I was first introduced to sensory through my son Elliott who was born with Down’s Syndrome and various other issues. Elliott spent his first couple of years of life in and out of hospital and as a result was extremely limited in what he could do. His progress, however, blossomed when being able to access a sensory environment. It stimulated his senses in such a way it encouraged his brain function and improved his gross motor and fine motor skills.
I was amazed at the benefits.
I went on to have 2 more children after Elliott and soon realised that sensory environments weren’t just a special needs thing, they too blossomed just the same as he did.
Access to good public multi-sensory environments in Torbay however are limited and the few that are available tend to be static within a community centre, special needs school or hospital. These are also restrictive on what day they can be accessed or who in fact can access them. For example, a small local sensory room may only be for children up to the age of 11 and open on a Sunday for a few hours.
Sense Abilities wants to break down these barriers by making our multi-sensory environment mobile, making it truly accessible to all and when we say all, we mean all ages and abilities. Sensory environments are proving a valuable resource from young mums with babies to reminiscent therapy for people with dementia.
The idea of Sense Abilities was thought up in September last year. I wanted to combat the lack of public sensory spaces available but I also wanted to make it so that it was that little bit different. Two more directors have come on board who are just as passionate about the project as I am.
Since then we have been working hard on building up Sense Abilities, from gaining valuable funding, to getting the word out there and I think once launched you will agree it will certainly be that little bit different.
We aim to launch Torbay’s first Pop-up Sensory Room that can be set up wherever it is needed and with our bespoke power unit, that can even be in a field in the middle of nowhere. We don’t want to stop there though we will be going on to convert a bus in to a unique Mobile Sensory Environment and develop a Sensory Café and Memory Garden so watch this space.
We are really excited to be bringing something new to Torbay!
For any enquiries or more information you can find us on twitter @Sense_Abilities, Facebook @SenseAbilitiesUK or visit our website www.senseabilities.org.uk