Local sensory charity builds new friendships with Lego

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Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo

Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo.

A charity that supports thousands of people with sensory loss is helping people build new friendships with a Lego group.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC) hold regular groups and meet ups where people who have sensory loss can get together and share their interests. The charity hosts 30 different social and activity groups, developed in partnership with centre users and catering to a host of different ages and interests.

Morag sat a table with Braille Lego.

Morag sat a table with Braille Lego.

The new Lego group is getting started in April and will run on one Saturday each month for three months. The sessions will feature Braille Lego, which is made up of bricks moulded with studs that correspond to Braille numbers and letters. Sessions cost £5 and include a drink and snack.

FVSC is also introducing a new dance class to help people get active and meet new people. Participants will try out ballroom dancing, Latin, and popular sequence dancing. The class is being run by Brian and Avril Muir from DanceAtoB. FVSC works closely with the people they support in developing activities and groups on offer, and a new sports focus group is being set up in partnership with Scottish Disability Sports, so centre users can have their say on which sports they would like to try.

FVSC has supported people across central Scotland, including Stirling and Clackmannanshire, with sensory impairment and their families for over 15 years. It acts as a community hub, offering support, advice, practical help, and social opportunities. The centre helps around 20,000 people every year and is funded by a mix of statutory funding and donations. The charity was recently awarded £200,000 for three years from the National Lottery Community Fund to tackle isolation and loneliness caused by sensory loss, and new services, starting in May, will take place in community venues and hubs throughout the area to increase access and availability.

Kyle sitting at a table with 4 of his lego creations - Bowser, space shuttle, ghostbusters car and a house with a cart.

Kyle sitting at a table with 4 of his lego creations – Bowser, space shuttle, ghostbusters car and a house with a cart.

“I have always really liked Lego. It sometimes took me a wee bit longer to build the sets, but I use the Lego app to zoom in on the instructions and I have gradually got better and faster at it. I am always interested in meeting other people with sight loss to help them with anything I can. I like the groups so I can interact with other people my age and have a laugh. The centre regularly holds different groups to try to encourage young people to come along to have some fun – everyone should try it. As Lego say: Let’s build together.’”

Kyle Somerville, 22, is one of the people who is looking forward to the Lego group getting started.

“Sensory loss can be an isolating experience, leading to a loss of confidence and people not engaging in the activities they enjoy. That's why we provide such a wide range of support services and activities, enabling people to live their lives to the fullest. We are here to make sure that everyone with sight and/or hearing loss is able to meet new people, have fun and pursue their interests and hobbies. We look forward to welcoming people to our new groups.”

Jacquie Winning, chief executive of Forth Valley Sensory Centre

To get involved in a group at Forth Valley Sensory Centre, please email Linsey Stocks.


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