Forth Valley Sensory Centre is a unique place that has been helping people with sight and hearing loss across the Forth Valley region since 2006.
The first place of its type in the UK, the Centre brings together deaf and blind people for groups, activities and support. It is also a place where friends and family can get help for their loved ones and aims to help people build confidence and live as independently as possible. The Centre also has a Café serving home cooked meals as well as a sensory room and garden, all open to the public. There is even a kitchen garden opened in September 2019 by HRH The Princess Royal.
Partners in the Centre, NHS Forth Valley, Falkirk and Stirling Councils, RNIB Scotland, Action on Hearing Loss, Scottish War Blinded and Blind Veterans UK are all available to provide help and equipment where needed. However, the real focus of the Centre is the groups and classes, including cooking classes with Centre cook David, who happens to be blind himself, to knitting groups, history classes and tactile art.
At each point the Centre is as inclusive as possible, putting on BSL interpreters and training volunteers to be sighted guides, enabling those with sensory loss to access many things they might otherwise be excluded from. A good example of this has been the ‘Making Sense of Energy Saving’ Project launched last year. To date several people with sight loss have had new heating systems installed free of charge after finding out they could get government help they previously knew nothing about.
Forth Valley Sensory Centre also encourages a wider understanding of sensory loss with visits from community groups and even free sign language classes for the general public.
Like many charities, fundraising is a necessity. The Centre has to raise around £50,000 each year to put on the groups and relies on the help of over 50 volunteers. There are regular fundraising events throughout the year, including bingo nights and Afternoon Tea. People to take part in the Glasgow and Edinburgh Kiltwalks are being actively recruited right now. You can always donate online via www.wonderful.org/charity/forthvalleysensorycentre
If you are on social media please follow @FVSensoryCentre on Twitter or like Forth Valley Sensory Centre on Facebook. You can read more about the Centre’s work, including a list of all the groups on the website www.forthvalleysensorycentre.org you can call 01324 590 888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information too.
Partnership and Publicity Manager
Forth Valley Sensory Centre