BSL group takes flight at bungee fitness class

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Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo.

Members of a group designed to bring deaf and hard of hearing people together have taken part in a bungee fitness class.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre’s Talk and Sign group, which supports people with hearing loss, took 10 members on the outing to the Circle Gym Club in Glasgow on Friday. They were able to try the new fitness craze Bungee Super Fly, which sees participants wear a harness while completing a workout full of lunges, squats and jumps.

Indoor Bungee Super Fly fitness class with everyone running in harnesses and rope attached to ceiling.

Indoor Bungee Super Fly fitness class with everyone running in harnesses and rope attached to ceiling.

The Talk and Sign group meets once a month at FVSC and allows members to communicate and socialise using British Sign Language (BSL) and they are often taken on trips and to try new activities.

FVSC is highlighting the services it offers for deaf people and those with hearing loss as it marks BSL Week. The charity has two free weekly Voices Off classes where people can learn the basics of BSL from members of the deaf community, one of which takes place on Monday evenings at 6.30pm and the other at 11am on Thursdays. Tea and coffee are served and total beginners are welcome. FVSC also runs lipreading classes as well as a host of different groups and activities for its centre users – including those who are blind or have visual impairments – such as ‘Knit and Natter’, cooking, history and art classes, and a monthly book club.

Last week, FVSC’s group co-ordinator Linsey Stocks visited the West Plean and Auchenbowie Women’s Guild in Stirling with volunteers and centre users to speak about deaf awareness. They did a talk and shared their own personal experiences of hearing loss and deafness to highlight the variations, and the value lipreading and BSL can have for people. The event was described as a “triumph” by one of those who attended, who told how each of the women’s stories about being deaf were “entirely different to the other”. She also explained that some of the women at the meeting were beginning to lose their hearing, but the FVSC talk had been “immensely reassuring” as it showed they were not alone.

The Women’s Guild donated £175 to the centre. This will go towards its Deaf Social Group, Talk and Sign group and Youth Group, which currently supports five deaf children.

“BSL Week is a perfect opportunity for us to highlight the work we do at Forth Valley Sensory Centre and the services we can offer deaf and hard of hearing people. Our Voices Off Cafés are hugely popular and allow anyone who wants to learn BSL, for whatever reason, to be taught by members of the deaf community. Centre users who are deaf or with hearing loss can also join our Talk and Sign group. It helps to reduce isolation by providing new and fun opportunities that members may not otherwise feel confident doing outside of the group environment. Most recently, our members were able to try out Bungee Super Fly with everyone having a fantastic time. We recently visited the West Plean and Auchenbowie Women’s Guild to speak about deaf awareness and the services we offer. The information event was very successful and we received brilliant feedback as well as a generous donation which we are so grateful for.”

Linsey Stocks, FVSC’s groups and activities coordinator


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