Sensory charity awarded £200,000 of lottery funding to tackle loneliness and isolation

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Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre logo.

A local charity that supports people with sight and hearing loss has been awarded £200,000 of funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to tackle isolation and loneliness caused by sensory loss.

More than 200 people will benefit from new services and activities delivered by Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC) thanks to the new funding. The charity, which provides support to 20,000 people with sight and/or hearing loss each year in the Forth Valley, will use the money to develop their services in Camelon, enabling them to help more people in Clackmannanshire and Stirling. They will deliver social activities and skills training to increase confidence and independence and tackle loneliness.

People sat around tables with snacks.

People sat around tables with snacks.

Activities and classes offered by the charity include IT and tech support, cookery classes, visits and excursions and sign and lip-reading classes. The new services, starting in May, will take place in community venues and hubs throughout the area to ensure as many people as possible can take part. It builds on a successful range of services, groups and support delivered from FVSC’s Falkirk base. The funding will also create three new jobs and 12 volunteer positions.

Forth Valley Sensory Centre has supported people across central Scotland with sensory impairment and their families for more than 15 years. It acts as a community hub, offering support, advice, practical help and social opportunities. The charity opened its Wee County Hub on a pop-up basis across Clackmannanshire last year, which is open to anyone in Clackmannanshire who has sensory loss and their families and means the charity can reach even more people. The new services build on a pilot project developed with social enterprise The Lens, which helps organisations develop new ideas and innovation.

The National Lottery Community Fund distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK.

“We are extremely grateful to The National Lottery Community Fund for providing us with an opportunity to become a genuinely Forth Valley wide service for people with sensory loss. We know from our many years of supporting people with sight and/or hearing loss in the Forth Valley that loneliness, isolation and loss of confidence are some of the biggest problems that people with sensory loss face. Our overall objective is to help people who have a sensory impairment live as independently as possible and we are proud of how our range of activities and classes, including access to IT and tech support, cookery classes, visits and excursions and sign and lip-reading classes, will continue to break down those barriers and help people live their lives to the full.”

Jacquie Winning MBE, Chief Executive of Forth Valley Sensory Centre


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