Disabilities and Loneliness: How Sense Is Working To Tackle These Issues
Posted by Martin Hewitt on September 19, 2020
The complex disabilities charity, Sense, has committed to tackling isolation and loneliness by giving everyone a chance to fulfil their potential. But what exactly does this mean?
We know that many people struggle with issues surrounding isolation, particularly in the current pandemic times.
For those living with complex disabilities, the risk of ‘isolation and loneliness’ is increased due to issues ranging from mobility to communication, making the work of the charity, Sense, vital.
What is Sense?
Last year, Sense unveiled its 2019-2022 strategy, under the banner, ‘No one left out of life’.
The long and short being there should be no disability so complex that people find themselves isolated and unable to fulfil their own potential.
This reflects the organisation’s overall goal of removing all barriers to access and communication so that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of life and its wonders.
Sense delivers support on the frontline. Services are primarily provided in the home, or community, and take the form of initiatives that help with integration, self-confidence, independence and ultimately, quality of life, for people living with disabilities. That might mean lessons in British Sign Language (BSL), educating employers on accessibility issues, or help preparing for a job interview.
Additionally, Sense runs short breaks and family events and provides a vast amount of information and advice on complex disabilities and disability issues.
Sense is a leading campaigner for changes to UK laws and government policies, playing a vital role in the fight for maximum inclusivity.
How connected are loneliness and disabilities?
According to research by the Jo Cox Loneliness Commission, more than 50% of people with disabilities feel some degree of loneliness, while 49% of people who are not living with disabilities feel they have little or nothing in common with the disabled community.
The implications of both these facts are stark. The potential impact on the psychological, emotional and social wellbeing of people living with disabilities is vast — half of all people living with disabilities feel some degree of isolation, and almost half those who are not disabled perceive themselves to be living in a very different world.
The point being, loneliness and disabilities are deeply connected, which makes the work of Sense in combatting these issues essential.
What can we all do to support Sense?
Civil Society News reported in June that the disabilities charity sector had been ‘forgotten’ during the Coronavirus pandemic. Ten disability charities criticised the Government for letting them, “fall through the cracks”, along with the people living with disabilities they represent. This group of organisations alone stands to lose up to £75 million in funding this year.
Given we entered the crisis using timescales of days and weeks, then moved to months and now talk in terms of pandemic years, this figure is likely to get worse, as the economic challenges deepen. This makes private donations and fundraising events more important than ever.
fundraising.co.uk has some great ideas for lockdown-friendly ways to raise cash for good causes if you want to get involved.
Further information about Sense can be found at www.sense.org.uk where you can find out far more about this very worthwhile charity and the services it provides.