Who we work with
The Sensory Trust works with organisations throughout the United Kingdom and internationally to make places accessible, reconnect people with the environment and find ways to include more people in the decisions that shape the places where they live.
Working with the Eden Project
Our offices are located at the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. We work closely with the Eden Project to ensure that it is one of the most inclusive places in the UK to work in and visit, and one of the most engaging sensory environments anywhere. Read more about our work with Eden.
Eden offers an unrivalled test bed for us to develop new ways of making places inclusive, compelling and enjoyable, and we have trialled many techniques and approaches there that we then apply to other places and organisations across the UK and internationally.
Working with designers and the design process
An important part of our work is to integrate accessibility and inclusive design aspects into the design and development process. We use community engagement techniques to involve people in a project. Our experience as designers helps us understand the constraints and opportunities inherent in any development or regeneration process. The result is meaningful input from a representative cross-section of the community, manageable expectations, and a project that is ultimately more sustainable because it meets the needs of those for whom it was designed.
We have worked closely with the Eden Project over the last ten years to make it accessible and welcoming to to the widest range of visitors.
We have developed a specialist focus on accessible information, one of the most significant barriers to access. This includes work with Eden Project, the National Trust, Widgit Software, the Wildlife Trusts, Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the National Tramway Museum.
We have advised on inclusive play as part of collaborative work with the Association for Children’s Environment in Tokyo, Japan, a project focused on natural play with Eden Project and the Pathfinder play programme in Cornwall.
We have developed a toolkit for social sustainability in inclusive design with Eden Project for South West Regional Development Agency and Cornwall Council which is now a requirement for all European-funded capital build projects in Cornwall.
Working with communities
The chance for all members of a community to have a say in the decisions that affect where and how they live is fundamental to creating successful places. The Sensory Trust has developed activities and techniques that allow those who normally have difficulty contributing to design and development processes to have their say and participate fully.
Working with environmental and heritage organisations
A strong focus of Sensory Trust's work is to improve people's relationships with the places where they live. The natural and heritage environments are a large part of any place, and by reconnecting people with these elements we can foster a sense of ownership of, and consequently a sense of responsibility for, the place that they live.
We have worked with national organisations such as Natural England, the Forestry Commission, the National Trust, the Countryside Agency and English Heritage writing guidance documents such as Easy Access to Historic Landscapes and By All Reasonable Means; providing diversity awareness training to staff; creating sensory trails and accessible information; and finding ways to balance access with fragile and unique environments.
Work at the National Tramway Museum contributed to their successful Heritage Lottery bid.
Working with health and care providers
Contact with natural environments demonstrably improve patients' recovery times and sense of well-being. Sensory Trust has worked with hospitals such as Bethlem Royal Hospital, Bodmin Community Hospital and residential schemes such as Cornwall Care, Retirement Security Ltd, Bolton at Home, and Ocean Housing to create outdoor spaces that can be used and enjoyed by residents and staff.
Our current project, Creative Spaces, focuses on improving the lives of older people with dementia by improving their home environments and reconnecting them with their local community.
Working with education providers
We have worked with schools and universities to make their outdoor environments more engaging and more accessible. We have worked with special needs schools such as Doubletrees and Pencallenick to produce resources that can be used by schools throughout the UK. Our work at University College Falmouth includes teaching inclusive design on the 3D design undergraduate course.