How Covid 19 helped us to evolve.

What a difference a virus makes.

At the time of writing this we are in our 2nd national lockdown. It certainly has been a very strange and worrying year. As an organisation we’ve had some low points due to Covid 19 but we have also had some highs.

Pop up sensory session at the Hydro Hub

At the start of the year we were building up our pop-up sensory sessions offering them at places like the Hydro Hub. These were group sessions that were unstructured and enjoyed by many a family. We were operating in several venues and on the look out for more. Then along came the Corona Virus quickly followed by a National Lockdown.

To say it was a spanner in the works was an understatement. All sessions had to stop, venues closed and we were left with trying to work out what to do.

We weren’t alone in this, there were many an organisation in similar circumstances. It was a worry and caused many a sleepless night. How would we survive? How would we still be able to support our families with their sensory needs?

New ideas and lightbulb moments.

Thinking caps went on and ideas started to emerge. In fact a lot of ideas, ideas that would have ordinarily remained in the background with our pop-up sessions being at the very forefront.

We had to evolve, we had to think outside of the box. This was when the ‘My Sensory’ range of bags came to life. A range of bags containing sensory items that could be used in the home or out and about. Families couldn’t come to us for their sensory needs, so we took sensory to them!

Click here to see our new range of sensory bags.

We managed to get funding and through this some of these bags were given to families with children with additional needs. Whilst we needed to keep Sense Abilities afloat we also wanted to be able to help where we could with the current crisis.

We needed more space.

Forward on several months and we have now had to move office, to a bigger unit. The bags have been a successful addition to what we do and more space has been needed to cope with the stock we needed to hold. This we have to say has been a blessing, as side stepping down the hallway at home to avoid boxes was getting a bit of a chore, plus the children thought it was Christmas every time we had a delivery!

The new unit we have taken over is still in the same building as the previous one. It is larger and has 2 rooms. Cue the next idea …. turning the front space into a temporary sensory room.

It isn’t ideal as it is upstairs BUT it is something and is definitely better than nothing. After our disruption at the beginning of the year, reluctantly giving up a property we thought was perfect but turned out not to be, we have still been on the lookout for a permanent space. A space to create a fixed sensory room for all to access. Suitable properties have been very difficult to find so we thought this would be the next best thing, as a temporary measure, until that elusive perfect property becomes available.

Doing great things.

So there we have it, we have evolved! We aim to return to doing pop-up sessions when we can safely do so. In the meantime though we are offering our very own Sensory Bags online. We also have a range of sensory items for sale through our online store, that is added to regularly. We have a new office, new signage AND will soon have a Covid secure sensory space that individuals can hire and benefit from.

Click here to view our online store.

Whilst Covid 19 has been a huge disruption in one sense. It has enabled us to grow in a way we would never have envisaged. It helped us to think outside of the box and continue to make Sensory Accessible to all, no matter what age or ability.

We look forward to being able to welcome people once again, when this lockdown is over, and show you our fab temporary sensory room.

Stay safe and well.

Suzannah Jones

Suzannah Jones, Managing Director

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