Community Asset Transfer Success!

We are delighted to announce that Aberdeenshire Council have granted a Community Asset Transfer of the historic Old Schoolhouse to SensationALL, in a deal which marks the culmination of many years of effort.

The terms of the transfer – Aberdeenshire Council’s biggest to date – will provides us with a stable and secure base where we can continue to deliver services which are invaluable to families living with complex conditions such as autism, learning disabilities and neurological conditions.

Our Chair of the Board of Trustees, Bob McCracken said:

“This is a magnificent step forward for the charity, which provides it with a stable foundation on which to build and flourish. I would like to thank Aberdeenshire Council, the local Councillors, the local Community and the Trustees – past and present – for their support and hard work which has resulted in the charity being given this wonderful opportunity.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s transfer means we can now begin work on expanding the services we offer. Suz Strachan, Service Manager and co-founder of SensationALL said:

“This is an exciting and bold move for SensationALL. Taking over the long-term lease of the building presents a fantastic opportunity for us to develop our services and facilities as never before. Our future really is now in our own hands.”

As Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Garioch Area Committee, Cllr Fergus Hood added:

“We are so pleased to see this coming together for the benefit of the local community and to support the incredibly important work SensationALL do with some of our most vulnerable residents. We are committed to empowering communities to create their own success stories through community asset transfer projects and this is absolutely one of them.”

There are exciting plans in store for both SensationALL and the Old Schoolhouse as we work towards realising our charitable vision of creating a flagship service for individuals with support needs & disabilities in a state-of-the-art facility.

Follow our progress on social media

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SensationALL and Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving, after Black Friday and Cyber Monday it is a day to give back and do good. At SensationALL we love the idea and thought it was the perfect opportunity to shout about the ways you can support our charity.

SensationALL are dedicated to providing outstanding therapeutic services for individuals with support needs and their families however, we simply couldn’t operate without help from our volunteers, supporters and local community! We rely on our volunteers giving their time to our users during services , fundraising committee giving their time at events, we rely on corporate supporters giving donations and raffle prizes. 

We have just launched our Christmas Card Campaign 2018 when we’re asking people to donate instead of sending cards this year. One of our parents was the first to sign up because of the experiences she’s had at SensationALL:

“SensationALL has provided an exemplary location for our son to feel at ease, the staff and other families provided a welcoming respite in a demanding world. Every £1 here makes a real impact!”

Here are some other ways you can give to SensationALL.

  • Volunteer at upcoming events (SensationALL Ceilidh, Friday 30th November, Winter Wonderland, Saturday 08th December)
  • Donations for our Winter Wonderland fayre – Chocolate, Home baking (drop off at the Old Schoolhouse by 06th and 07th December) and bottles for the bottle stall.
  • Fundraise for SensationALL – we’ve got places at Run Balmoral and Ride the North 2019 or organise your own fundraiser doing whatever you like!

If you want to give some time to SensationALL in any shape, we’d love to hear from you – email #SensationALL

Check out what the SensationALL team do here

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CML take on a “SensationALL” project

A team of volunteers from Aberdeen-based midstream infrastructure business CATS Management Limited (CML) have shown their ongoing commitment to local charity SensationALL by rolling up their sleeves for two days of DIY activities for the second year running.

SensationALL provides support and multi-sensory experiences for children and adults with disabilities and multiple support needs, their families and associated professionals. In 2016, the charity was successful in its application for a Community Asset Transfer from Aberdeenshire Council for the Old Schoolhouse building in Westhill and is now working towards transforming it into a purpose-built facility.

In 2017, CML funded the purchase and installation of a new summer house and was involved in painting, gardening and general maintenance. This year’s support included removing and replacing cupboards, painting the main activity room and upgrading the outdoor garden space. CML also donated £5,000 to cover the cost of new flooring and storage units.

Suz Strachan, operational lead and co-founder of SensationALL, said: “The support that we have received from CML is overwhelming. Their team are a dynamic bunch who power through maintenance tasks that our small team simply don’t have the time or resources to do. Their enthusiasm for what we do at SensationALL is fantastic and we love having them onsite.”

SensationALL is staffed by experienced specialist practitioners who deliver therapeutic sensory based activities that promote early intervention for individuals with support needs such as autism as well as those with learning disabilities and neurodevelopmental conditions.

Suz Strachan added: “This year we are particularly excited that in addition to all the internal work, CML have helped us upcycle some items donated by the AWPR. The new seating area will be used for outdoor learning as it enables us to take groups outside and utilise the sights, sounds and smells of our garden as a sensory experience.”

Andy Hessell, managing director of CML, said: “As a small, independent charity, SensationALL relies on companies like CML to help it achieve its goal of creating a safe, stimulating and practical environment for the people they support. We have seen first-hand the positive difference SensationALL has on individuals, their families and the local community, and are delighted to continue to support Suz and her inspirational team.”

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Aberdeen and Celtic fans come together for SensationALL

Football fans at the recent game between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie dug deep to raise more than £1,500 for Westhill based charity SensationALL, at AFC’s first ever joint can collection involving both sets of supporters.

Aberdeen FC Community Trust (AFCCT) organised the collection along with the Celtic FC Foundation (CFCF) to raise the profile of SensationALL and help the charity with their fundraising campaign to support families living with Autism, learning difficulties and disabilities.

Both AFCCT and CFCF are committed to improving the lives of those in their communities with both organisations providing assistance to people with Autism.

Aberdeen FC was named Scotland’s first Autism Friendly Football Club earlier this year in recognition of the steps the club and AFCCT have taken to make the match-day experience user-friendly for all and CFCF’s award-winning ‘Ability Counts’ programme includes projects designed to improve the lives of people living with Autism.

Ally Prockter, chief executive of AFCCT said he is proud that both sides came together for the charity.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity demonstrated by Aberdeen and Celtic fans at the match. While it’s all about the competition on the pitch, both teams are united by their community values and dedication to improving the lives of others through AFCCT and CFCF.

“SensationALL is a very deserving charity which helps those with multiple support needs and their families across the North-east by providing therapeutic sensory activities and support networks, training in therapeutic techniques and activities and opportunities for play and social integration.”

Tony Hamilton, Chief Executive of Celtic FC Foundation added: “I’m delighted that this was a success. We’ve visited the SensationALL project and it fits in perfectly with what we’re doing with Ability Counts. I hope it goes from strength to strength.”

Thanks to support from a syndicate of North-east entrepreneurs, AFCCT’s mascot Donny the Sheep will sport SensationALL on his shirt for the rest of the 2017/18 season.

Bob McCracken, Chairman of SensationALL’s Board of Trustees said: “We are delighted to be associated with two such prominent charities and hope that we can build on this initiative for the benefit of the communities in which we work”

AFCCT operates as a charity independently of Aberdeen Football Club but works closely with North-east local authorities and many other organisations including the Life Changes Trust, NHS Grampian, Sport Aberdeen, Police Scotland, Aberdeen Sports Village and other members of the Active Aberdeen Partnership.

Aberdeen Football Club is proposing to build a new community sports campus and stadium with on-site training and AFCCT facilities at Kingsford, near Westhill.

The 25-hectare site would see the construction of the largest new-build stadium in Scotland in 100 years and is vital for AFC to achieve a successful and sustainable future and to maximise its socio-economic contribution to the city and wider region.

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CATS Management volunteers in DIY-SOS style challenge

Volunteers from Aberdeen-based midstream infrastructure business CATS Management Limited (CML), took on their own DIY SOS style challenge last week by giving a makeover to the facilities of Westhill-based charity, SensationALL.

A team from CML rolled up their sleeves and threw themselves into two days of DIY activities including painting, gardening, and general housekeeping and maintenance at SensationALL’s centre at the Old School and Schoolhouse in Westhill.

CML also donated £5000, which has been used to purchase a summer house. The summer house will be the focal point in the redevelopment of the centre’s outdoor space and will provide an additional area for activities like gardening, crafts and a safe, quiet space for many of SensationALL’s service users who benefit from a low stimulating environment.

SensationALL provides therapeutic activities and specialist support for individuals with disabilities or “multiple support needs” (MSN), their families and associated professionals. In 2016, the charity acquired the Old School and Schoolhouse building from Aberdeenshire Council, and is working to transform it into a purpose-built facility.

Andy Hessell, managing director of CATS Management Limited said: “We wanted to get involved with a local, independent charity, where our financial and hands-on support could really make a difference, and SensationALL fits the bill perfectly.

“The passion, drive and commitment of the SensationALL team is at the heart of everything they do, and their work has such a positive impact on the lives of so many individuals and families across Aberdeen city and shire.”

SensationALL’s operational team lead, Suz Strachan said: ” Being a small, developing charity, all financial support from companies, individual donations or fundraising has a considerable impact on our service deliverables and helps contribute to our continued sustainability. We are particularly grateful to companies like CML who, at this challenging time in the oil and gas industry, have made a deliberate effort to support a small, local charity.

“The summer house that their donation has allowed us to purchase will be a great asset for all our groups, out of school provision and service users of all ages who have multiple support needs and disabilities.”

Andy Hessell added: “We are delighted to be working with SensationALL to help improve their facilities at Westhill and I would encourage other companies to come along and find out more about the charity, and how they might be able to help, whether that’s by providing financial support, or hands-on assistance.

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It’s a SensationALL summer!

The summer holidays are just around the corner and we have a jam packed timetable of summer activities. Here’s what’s happening over the holidays, keep up to date on a weekly basis via our Facebook page or sign up to our monthly enewsletter. See you at the SensationALL summer!

The SingAlong Cinema

We have a big screen, bean bags and comfy seating for watching and singing along to the films! Make your own popcorn and popcorn holders too. £15 per film.

Beauty and the Beast on Monday 17th July from 2.00pm to 4.30pm
Hairspray on Monday 14th August from 2.00pm to 4.30pm

Sensory Treasure Hunt

Grab your pirate hat and map and follow the sensory clues to find the hidden treasure! £15 and includes a hidden treasure.
Tuesday 18th July from 10.30am to 12.30pm

Dance and Disco

It’s the SensationALL summer disco and dance-a-long! Glowsticks, disco music and dance-along-videos. £15 and includes a snack.

Wednesday 19th July from 4.00pm to 6.00pm

Wednesday 16th August from  4.00pm to 6.00pm

Under the Sea Music Therapy Session
A favourite for the children! Under the sea crafts, musical instruments and songs. £15 and includes a snack.

Thursday 20th July from 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Up in the Sky Music Therapy Session
We went Under the Sea, time to travel Up in the Sky with a themed-music therapy session with crafts and musical instruments. £15 and includes a snack.

Thursday 10th August from 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Lego/board game groups

Join the SensationALL team for some lego and board games. £5 per child, per session.
Monday 24th July  from 2.00pm to 3.00pm

Monday 31st July from 2.00 to 3.00pm.  

Outdoor Games Group

Looking for sunshine for our Outdoor Games Group! £10 to join in the outdoor games morning session.
Friday 3rd August from 10.30am to 12.30pm

See you at the SensationALL summer!

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We get by with a little help from our friends!

It’s Volunteers Week in Scotland and we have taken the chance to give our volunteers an extra thank you! The SensationALL team couldn’t do what they do without their help. Volunteering for us comes in many shapes and sizes – you can give your time (even an hour for a play session is a massive help), you can give your time from your business (not sure if you have noticed we are in the process of a massive renovation project…hint, hint), you can help with set ups, tidy ups, making tea, running / cycling for us in charity events or donations! Continue reading

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Apache donation to fund new state-of-the-art sensory room

Kingswells-based, Apache North Sea Limited, has donated £30,000 to SensationALL for the renovation and repurposing of our sensory room.

As part of Apache’s Corporate Social Responsibility programme, they have awarded the charity funds for the design and installation of a new sensory room.   The donation will go towards the renovation and repurposing of the Sensory room, transforming the space into a state-of-the-art, interactive area designed around user needs. Continue reading

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