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North-east support centres for blind and deaf people reopen

By Kyle Ritchie

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Vital resource centres for blind and deaf people which were shut during the Covid pandemic have now fully reopened.

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which supports thousands of people with sensory impairment across the area, said the return would be a huge boost for service users.

The charity has bases in Aberdeen and Elgin locally and is also located in Dundee.

The centres provide a range of services which differ between the areas.

These include drop-in social work support, access to a wide range of specialist equipment including cafés, clubs, fitness classes, audio libraries, IT support, youth clubs, employment support, lip-reading classes and more.

The North East Sensory Services Aberdeen centre is based at 21 John Street.
The North East Sensory Services Aberdeen centre is based at 21 John Street.

The charity also holds sessions for the repair of crucial equipment such as hearing aids and technology for visually impaired and deaf people.

During lockdown, staff and volunteers worked hard to ensure services could continue both online and by going out to visit the homes of some of their most vulnerable service users.

Chief executive of North East Sensory Services Graham Findlay said: “Our staff and volunteers worked so hard during lockdown to ensure those with sensory impairments across the north-east could still be supported, both online and in person when safe to do so.

“But there’s no substitute for getting the resource centres up and running again, and we’re delighted we’ve been able to reopen the doors.

“It means people can use NESS for all kinds of activities and support, including peer support.

“All of this enables us to increase the independence experienced by those who have hearing and visual impairments, as that’s what the charity is all about.”

The charity's base in Aberdeen is at 21 John Street, while in Elgin it is at Elizabeth House, 10 Victoria Crescent.

For more information on the services the charity provides visit www.nesensoryservices.org

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