New report shows life changing impact of north east of Scotland sensory loss charity

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North East Sensory Services logo

North East Sensory Services logo

A north east Scottish charity that supports thousands of people with sensory loss has published a report showing the life changing impact of its work.

North East Sensory Services (NESS) produced its Social Impact Report based on outcomes achieved for the people they support across the north east. The charity supports over 6,250 people with sensory impairment and their families, through a wide range of social care services, to help them live as independently and confidently as possible. The report illustrates the outcomes achieved by people against the charity’s objectives to assess the impact of their work on the people they support. It found that in the past year:

  • 71% are looking after themselves more independently
  • 52% are less socially isolated
  • 87% have reduced some of the negative impacts of their sensory loss
  • 23% have increased their income to improve or maintain their lifestyle
  • 52% have increased their participation in their community/ society

Last year, NESS supported 6,259 people. 52% were deaf or heard of hearing and 48% were visually impaired. Nearly 2,500 lived in Aberdeen and 1,663 lived in Dundee, while 1,023 lived in Moray, 776 in Angus and 305 in Aberdeenshire.

Aileen Gourlay from Dundee sitting in a chair and NESS's Gill Sutherland crouching beside her.

Aileen Gourlay from Dundee sitting in a chair and NESS’s Gill Sutherland crouching beside her.

The report also found NESS’s volunteers contributed more than £180,000 worth of services to the charity. Volunteers carry out a wide range of work, including providing transport, running groups and social activities. Volunteers gave a total of 11,026 hours to the charity – the equivalent of six additional full-time staff.

It is the third time that NESS has produced social accounts, which look at the activities of the whole organisation, measuring, monitoring and analysing its activity based upon its mission, values, and projected outcomes, to produce evidence of its impact. The report covers the period from April 2022 to March 2023. Other key findings include:

  • 95% of people said they got the service when they needed it
  • 94% said the staff understood the challenges they were facing
  • 93% said the information we provided was helpful
  • 91% said our support helped them to make the best of their situation

“We are thrilled to see the difference that we have made to the lives of people who are affected by sensory loss, and would like to thank our staff and volunteers who thoughtfully and tirelessly deliver the best possible services. The findings will be used to inform and improve our practice, increasing the positive impact of our life changing work. Significant sight and/or hearing loss have a major impact on people’s ability to lead an independent, confident life, but that means different things to different people, which is why we strive to offer really individualised, personalised support that allows people to thrive.”

Adam Hillhouse, Head of Enterprise at NESS


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