A 137 year-old north-east charity is looking forward to continuing success after celebrating its best year ever in 2016.
North East Sensory Services (NESS) – which has centres in Aberdeen, Dundee and Elgin – won four new contracts in 2016 to offer its services to over a thousand additional blind and deaf people across Scotland, bringing the number of people it supports to over 5,500.
In Dundee, NESS has provided support to deaf people since April 2013, and in October the charity won a tender to expand its services to blind people, enabling it to offer a joint sensory service, including rehabilitation and practical advice, under one roof.
As a result, those with both hearing and sight loss will be able to access help in one visit. NESS will also offer additional services to Dundee and Angus in 2017, including IT support and employment advice.
Additionally, NESS successfully tendered to continue its popular service for blind and deaf people in Moray, as well as winning two separate contracts to provide blind and deaf services on behalf of Angus Council.
In July, the charity won the Investors in People, ‘Excellence in the Third Sector’ international award after achieving the Investors in People Gold Standard in March, following a comprehensive analysis of the charity’s people management.
NESS has also recently launched a revolutionary new website designed for easy use by those who have very poor vision, offering advice on living with sensory loss and detailed information on support services available across the North-east.
Furthermore, NESS played an important role in sight loss research by hosting the Aberdeen Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) Information Day in September, which saw scientists share the latest RP genetic research advances.
NESS CEO, Graham Findlay, said: “Despite challenging times, 2016 was a milestone year for NESS. We are delighted to have won four competitive tenders, which are the result of a great deal of hard work and dedication by every member of staff and volunteer at NESS.
“Joint sensory services are a major step forward and NESS has been a pioneer in providing help and advice for blind and deaf people under one roof. Many older people have difficulties with both vision and hearing, so being able to access support for both senses in one place is a major advantage.
“Demand for our services is increasing due to an ageing population, so it is important that we continue to develop our services and expand.
“Blind and deaf people rely upon the support we provide, to help them achieve greater independence, so the charity is constantly evolving to ensure we are able to help service users lead life to the full.
“In 2017, we will continue to look for new ways to support our service users and help as many people as we can.”
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