Funding to help elderly deaf and blind people go online

North East Sensory Services (NESS) has been awarded £58,288 from the Alliance Self Management Fund.

Funding to help elderly deaf and blind people go online iStock

A charity has been handed a major funding boost to help support elderly people with sensory impairments in Aberdeen and Moray.

North East Sensory Services (NESS) has been awarded £58,288 from the Scottish Government-backed Alliance Self Management Fund.

The two-year investment will allow NESS to provide training and support in using accessible electronic devices to elderly blind and deaf people, to help keep them connected with family and friends.

It is also hoped that they will learn longer-term skills, such as using the internet for online banking and shopping.

Graham Findlay, chief executive of North East Sensory Services, said: “Elderly people with severe visual or hearing impairment were already at a high risk of social isolation, but that’s been exacerbated by the pandemic.

“This funding will allow us to support vulnerable people in both Aberdeen and Moray to help them build friendships and stay in touch with loved ones.

“It will help elderly people learn to use video calls but also increase their confidence when it comes to browsing, using email and accessing the internet for things like banking and shopping.”

The funding will build on the work already under way in collaboration with NHS Grampian’s Endowment Fund as part of the charity’s Connect, Include and Support project.

NESS was one of 49 organisations nationwide to be chosen for funding at the Alliance annual conference.

Funding for this project has been provided by the Self Management Fund for Scotland administered on behalf of the Scottish Government by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland with support from the William Grant Foundation.
Mr Findlay added: “We’re incredibly grateful for this funding, which will help us increase the independence of people living with blindness or deafness. 

“All across the north-east there are thousands of people affected by sensory impairment, but with the right support they can take part in and contribute to society in the same way as anyone else.”