Sensory Star Burst


Mobile Sensory Play


Sense Abilities provides accessible Sensory Play, Advocacy, Information, Advice and Guidance for Families & Organisations.

It’s an organisation that wants to make sensory accessible to all.

But what is it you may wonder?

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.


Our managing director, Suzannah Jones was first introduced to sensory through her son Elliott who was born with Down’s Syndrome and other complications. 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. However, his progress 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.

The benefits were amazing!

She 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.

We want to break down 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 2016 after wanting to combat the lack of public sensory spaces available, but we also wanted to make it so that it was that little bit different.

And it is!! We’ve launched Torbay’s first pop-up multi-sensory room!

Our pop-up sensory room can be set up in a variety of places these include School Halls, Care Homes even a field if that is where you want it.

Thanks to BIG Lottery funding, The CDT, The Paignton Festival and most of all YOU, our pop-up now includes items like specialist lighting, a projector, aromatherapy products, seating, tactile cushions and objects.

We have also had fantastic support from the Lloyds Bank School of Social Entrepreneurs, The Torbay Development Agency (TDA), RIO and Cosmic who have given us the business tools and guidance to be able to launch Sense Abilities.

We have a bespoke power unit that is currently being built for Sense Abilities that enables us to be truly mobile! This power unit will not only complement our pop-up sensory room, but make it completely independent and a totally unique experience for our users.

Our new pop-up sensory room is AVAILABLE TO HIRE HERE.

Meet the team...

Suzannah Jones

Suzannah is a mother of 6 boys and has extensive experience in the SEN Field through 3 of her sons who have a range of SEN including Down’s syndrome, ADD, Dispraxia and Aspergers. She chaired the local DownSouth charity for a short period, has been a Special Needs Parent Representative on the Management Board of…

Nicola Howkins

Nicola brings a wealth of fundraising experience to Sense Abilities.
Nicola has been involved in fundraising for over 30 years, initially supporting cancer related charities, then being very involved in the set up of regional Air Ambulances across the country for many years, then latterly supporting local charities and most recently Sense Abilities..

Elizabeth Taylor

“Being a parent to four children, two of which have additional SEN, has encouraged me to think outside the box when it comes to motivating, stimulating and encouraging development and learning. Traditional cognitive methods are valuable but when you have a child that is very visually focussed, sensory equipment comes to the fore. I am…