We are currently working with those whose difficulties are caused by their inability to process the information they receive from their bodies and the world around them.
Generally, this difficulty occurs when sensory signals don’t get organised into appropriate responses and has been likened to a neurological “traffic jam.” This prevents certain parts of the brain from receiving the information needed to interpret sensory information correctly. We call this a sensory processing difficulty and it can affect how the individual hears, feels, sees, tastes, smells, balances and understands the positioning of their body. This can be very challenging for the individual when they are trying to perform everyday tasks. If not treated effectively, it can result in various challenges for the individual including clumsiness, behavioural problems, anxiety, depression and school failure.
Our organisation aims to give children, young people and adults access to specialist therapists using (AYRES) Sensory Integration therapy to guide them in organising their nervous systems. This does not involve medical treatment or drugs, special diets or repetitive exercise. The therapy is child (or adult) centred and programmes are specific to their individual developmental needs.
Sarah Goudie – Fundraising and Parent Support Group
Sarah supports our funding raising and parent support groups. Sarah was introduced to Sensory People (SP) by a volunteer of the bread2share CIC she ran for six years working with bread making as a therapeutic tool in the social care sector. She is a practicing artist and co-develops General Office Gallery/Studios in Stourbridge.
Joanne Huzzey – Occupational Therapist
Joanne, an HCPC registered Occupational Therapist since 2005 has worked in Community Paediatric OT Services as well as Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) teams within the West Midlands. When employed in a residential special school she started on her sensory integration therapy journey. Joanne is now an independent OT mostly working in private practice. She is a qualified Sensory Integration Practitioner and Special Yoga Practitioner and is currently working to complete her post-graduate training in Brain Gym and Rhythmic Movement to help integrate primitive reflexes. In her spare time (and to keep regulated) Joanne enjoys baking, gardening, listening to music and walking. She uses swinging to calm down, trampolining to wake up and swimming to help her sensory system feel organised.
Jo is currently taking time out but we will see her again soon.
Donna Blakemore – Speech and Language Therapist
Donna is a registered Speech and Language Therapist with 30 years of experience working with children with a range of speech, language and communication difficulties. She has worked within Community Paediatric SLT teams where she specialised in working with children and young people who stammer. She is a Mum of two. Her youngest has sensory processing difficulties and when he was younger he received Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy from Sensory People for nearly 3 years. She therefore understands first-hand the struggles faced by children with SPD and their families. The remarkable changes Donna observed in her son as a result of this therapy led her to want be part of the Sensory People team and she has been working as an independent Speech and Language Therapist with the charity for four years now. She is currently completing her training in Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy.
Lisa Biddle – Administrator
Lisa joined us in November 2023 as our Administrator. She comes from an administrative background and has been a stay at home mum of 2 for the past few years. Lisa has now decided it’s time to get back into the workplace and is keen to develop her understanding of Sensory Integration Therapy and has already attended some one-to-one sessions. She will be getting involved in our Cool Kids programme soon to develop her knowledge further.
Alison Naylor – Head Coach
Alison taught in primary schools for over 30 years before leaving in 2021. Within her teaching she spent a number of years working with children with additional needs, supporting them to achieve their full potential in a happy environment. She started working with Sensory People in January 2022, coaching children on a 1:1 basis in the field and at a nursery, and working with the other coaches to run the group holiday schemes at Easter and in the summer holidays. Alison has two grown up daughters who are both primary school teachers, and enjoys walking, swimming and gardening when she isn’t looking after her numerous animals.
Victoria Muller-Rowley – Coach
Victoria’s background is in exercise and fitness, working as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. She currently delivers the Cool kids programme on the weekends and after school. She leads the sports and activity sessions that run during the Cool Kids holiday clubs.
Amber Perry – Coach
Amber is a trained dance teacher and sports coach within schools, gyms and dance schools and has worked with children of varying ages and needs during her time teaching. She has been working with Sensory People since the start of the COOL KIDS programme in summer 2020 and has supported many children and families through to the end of the programme and beyond. She works on a 1:1 or group basis delivering the programme on weekdays and alongside the other coaches during the Easter and summer holidays.