Sense launches new housing services strategy
Caring Times, November 2016
The national disability charity, Sense, has launched its new strategy for delivering housing services, designed to enable more people with complex needs to live independently. It happened on the same day the charity unveils a “refreshed” brand identity, including a new logo and strapline, to reflect the breadth of the people it now supports. The charity hopes the changes will help it to achieve the ambitious goals set out in its three-year strategy launched earlier in the year.
Sense has announced that it’s adopting a new approach to delivering accommodation services. Cost-effective supported living schemes, designed in conjunction with commissioners, families and service users, will be developed in key-priority areas across the country over the next few years. Sense’s expertise in communication will remain at the heart of its service delivery, with staff trained to know the right methods to ensure an individual is able to express their needs, goals and aspirations and to live as independently as possible.
Sense expects that its housing solutions will better meet the local needs of families and local authority commissioners.
Mark Lovell, Sense director of business development, said: “Few providers really understand the particular needs of people with sensory impairments and those with complex needs. This means that people could miss out on the support that would enable them to live in their own home and local community. By developing new models of sustainable support for the people we work with, Sense is making a vital contribution to social care.”
Sense is focusing on expanding its support in key-target areas, including the West Midlands and South West of England. The charity, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, has had a presence in those areas for decades and wishes to increase its breadth of support, co-designed with individuals and local authorities.
A new short film has been developed to promote Sense supported living services. Featuring the experiences of individuals living in Sense services, the film focuses on how their staff ensure everyone is able to communicate and make decisions on how they want to live. The new Sense film can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GfoG2gPzgw
Liz Thompson, younger sister of Lin Wallace, who lives in a supported living house in Rockbeare, Exeter, said: “I’ve always felt Lin was very constrained in a residential care environment. So I started to look around for a suitable placement for her and almost ruled Sense out because I thought it was only for people with dual deafness and blindness. They seemed to instantly have a grasp of what Lin’s needs would be. They’re the perfect people to work out how her limitations due to her visual impairment can be either overcome or minimised and I see that every time I go up to visit. It really is a tremendous relief.”
The first two new supported living developments will be delivered in Birmingham and Exeter.
Sense has also revealed a new visual identity. It will be introduced in two phases, with the second phase set to happen next year to coincide with the implementation of a new-look website.
The first phase, being rolled out today, includes a reinvigorated logo, which will act as a signpost for all the work the charity is involved in. The design, which has a new modern feel, includes a vibrant new colour palette to complement the iconic orange and purple colours long associated with Sense.
Another change unveiled by the charity is a new strapline. ‘Connecting sight, sound and life’ replaces ‘For deafblind people’, which has been in use since 2010. The decision reflects a shift in the charity’s scope, which now supports a much broader group of individuals. Richard Kramer, Sense deputy chief executive, said: “We were set up to support children and adults who are deafblind, but we also provide support for a wider group of people, including those with complex needs. Currently not all individuals and families are aware that we can provide services to them, and we know that there are people missing out on receiving vital support. Our refreshed brand reflects that our services, such as short breaks and supported living, are equipped for people with a range of needs.
“We know demand for support is growing and it’s important our brand keeps pace with demand, whilst reflecting the innovative support we provide that enables people to live more independent lives.”
“It’s our skilled approach in communication that means the individuals we support are able to connect with others, express themselves and grow in independence. The brand refresh is a vital step towards raising our profile in a crowded charity marketplace. As well as broadening people’s perceptions of who we support, we want to create a warmer, more dynamic feel to our visual identity to better reflect who Sense is.”
The development of the new branding was developed with pro-bono support from two agencies that support the charity’s cause.