Social Enterprise Spotlight – Borders Sensory Hub

Posted: 23 March 2021, in News

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Abby Allen and Borders Sensory Hub. Borders Sensory Hub is a true passion project that promotes play for all ages, stages, abilities and backgrounds. Read and share their Q&A interview below!

Founder, Abby Allen

Get in contact with Abby on

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?
I believe that every child has a right to play at all ages, stages, abilities and backgrounds, and so we provide inclusive play opportunities for young families and children with additional needs whilst promoting facility and social activity accessibility to those facing hardships such as poverty and social isolation.

How do you do it? 
Borders Sensory Hub will be an engaging, purpose designed space that can be accessed by the community during stay and play sessions designed to ignite child led play. We also offer development and wellbeing workshops for children age 0-5 years and their parents with activities such as messy play, crafts, yoga, mindfulness and massage.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
Aged 16 I found myself homeless and raising a baby alone. I had little support from family and was experiencing prejudice from involved services. I lacked confidence in my ability to support my child’s development and wellbeing and felt unable to access opportunities to better this due to the hardships I was facing

What are your current projects?
At Borders Sensory Hub we are currently working hard to have our first beautiful new sensory hub ready to welcome families later this spring. As a family run social enterprise my three little ones and other half have been busy decorating this wonderful space whilst I finalise the design and prepare everything behind the scenes.

What exciting things do you have coming up?
As an early year’s wellbeing and development practitioner I am excited to be collaborating with some incredible additional needs support services to ensure the hub is inclusive and welcoming for children with disabilities – something I am very passionate about!I am also thrilled to be able to offer nature play sessions to local families, very soon!

Who do you want to work with more?
I would love to collaborate and network with other social enterprises in the Scottish Borders – when we come together the possibilities are endless! I would also be thrilled to connect with other enterprises supporting children and families, I have lots to learn and their support would be invaluable!

What’s your biggest challenge?
As with many start-ups, funding my dream has been a challenge. I am committed to offering valuable opportunities for young people with engaging and inspiring sensory equipment, unfortunately this comes with a price tag. We have been thrilled to have received an equipment donation and some smaller financial donations though!

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
As a new social enterprise, it’s myself that needs the tips, haha! You are all so utterly inspiring and doing truly amazing things, don’t let yourself forget that.