Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC) has welcomed two new members of staff to its workforce.
Linsey Stocks joins the Camelon-based service as groups and activities coordinator, having previously worked at Morrisons where she was a community champion for Falkirk.
Fellow new recruit Kirsty Banks is taking on the role of project manager for a Making Sense of Energy Saving initiative.
Prior to starting work at FVSC, Kirsty spent ten years with Town Break in Stirling where she gained experience in working with vulnerable people, including those with sensory loss.
Jacquie Winning, FVSC manager, said: “We are delighted to have brought in two high calibre and experienced people who have so much affinity for the needs of our centre users.
“Both these roles require great understanding and communication. We are confident that Linsey and Kirsty will continue to improve the level of support and assistance we provide for people in Forth Valley of all ages who have a sensory impairment.”
Groups and activities form a key part of the service FVSC gives to blind, partially sighted, deaf and hard of hearing people in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire. The facility also offers outreach groups, as well as a wide variety of classes, including: knitting, art, self-defence, walking, curling and a conversational BSL class.
Linsey said: “I’m really looking forward to this challenge.
“As a person with hearing loss myself, I understand many of the problems that people can face.
“The centre is very much about increasing confidence and supporting people to be as independent as possible.
“Sensory loss can quickly lead people to become isolated in their own homes. The groups and classes on offer help to prevent that, keeping people happy, active and engaged in a relaxed, social environment.”
The newly created Making Sense of Energy Saving project aims to make information on climate change accessible to people with sensory loss.
At present, little information on how to save energy, reduce carbon output and cut energy bills is available in accessible formats.
Kirsty will work across Forth Valley to help people get the support they need.
She said: “Climate change is a huge topic at the moment and we are all being encouraged to do our bit and help Scotland achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2045.
“However, many older people also struggle with energy bills and are unaware of the steps they can take to provide more efficient heating for their homes, save energy, cut bills and help the environment at the same time.
“Our free, impartial advice will be available in a wide range of formats from British Sign Language to braille, helping ‘make sense’ of energy saving.”
Both roles include funding from the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund via Greener Scotland.
The CCF is a Scottish Government grant programme, managed and administered by Keep Scotland Beautiful.
The CCF provides funding and support for community groups to help tackle climate change by running projects that reduce local carbon emissions.
To find out more about the work of FVSC, visit www.forthvalleysensorycentre.org or search for @FVSensoryCentre on Twitter and Facebook.