Media Release: Outdoor holiday fun for sensory impaired children

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THE October holidays can be a great opportunity for youngsters to get outside and have some fun before winter sets in.

A local charity makes sure that visually and/or hearing impaired children and young people, experience the same enjoyment and adventure.

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which is based in Aberdeen, Dundee and Elgin, supports sensory impaired people and its Young Person’s Sensory Service hosted a number of events in Aberdeen during the two-week break for youngsters – many of which would challenge fully-sighted and hearing people.

The exciting programme included a bug hunt in Duthie Park, a family trip to Blair Drummond, a cooking session, a pottery session, a sponsored walk and an outdoor rock climbing session.

Children from the age of nought to 19 took part in the activities, which culminated in a fun Hallowe’en party on Saturday.

NESS Young Person’s co-ordinator, Diana Daneels, said the children had great fun: “We aim to provide a wide range of activities for children and young people so that they can experience adventure and outdoor activities in the same way as sighted or hearing youngsters.

“This year, our horse riding day at was really special. Of course safety is a priority, but we work hard to make sure there is lots of laughter and great stories to tell when we get home.”

Graham Findlay, CEO of NESS, said: “Parents and young people come to NESS for support in learning to live with a sensory impairment, but they also find friendship and fun.

“The activities organised by NESS provide the young people with new skills and real challenges, which they thrive on. Horse riding is always a favourite activity and this year the climbing session went down really well. The children are involved in planning the activities and they can be very adventurous.

“We aim to provide new experiences to expand their horizons and encourage them to see what they are capable of, which will help them deal with the unique challenges they face in everyday life.”

The Young Person’s Sensory Services, which is funded by a Bank of Scotland grant as well as other donations, holds weekly youth groups at its bases in Aberdeen and Elgin. Rehab workers and NESS staff also help young people in their homes and with taking public transport within their community.

Due to its work helping sensory impaired youngsters gain independence, NESS has been nominated as a finalist for the UK-wide Children & Young People Now awards, and the winners will be announced in London in November.

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