Forth Valley time capsule highlights challenges of Covid for those with sensory conditions

A time capsule which highlights how hard the Covid-19 pandemic has been for people with sensory conditions has been buried at Forth Valley Sensory Centre.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 4:30 pm
Contributors to the time capsule buried at Forth Valley Sensory Centre to mark the challenges from the pandemic.

The ‘ten-year’ metal capsule contained a number of items relating to the pandemic which has gripped the world for the past 18 months, including face masks and stories from people who have sight or hearing conditions about their experience of lockdown.

Provost Billy Buchanan buried the capsule assisted by Leza Munro, high specialised audiologist with NHS Forth Valley, Margaret Jackson of RNIB Scotland and Linsey Stocks from the sensory centre.

It was placed under an acer tree generously donated by Falkirk Soroptimists and the spot will also be marked by a plaque providing details of its burial.

Provost Billy Buchanan and Margaret Jackson from RNIB Scotland.

Mr Buchanan also added a few items to the capsule – a Falkirk tartan tie, Falkirk pin badge, Falkirk war memorial badge, Queen’s Guides 95th birthday badge, a 50p coin commemorating those who fell in war, a Live On poppy wrist band and a Purple Poppy badge commemorating animals, including the eight million horses, which died in World War I.

The sensory centre in Camelon was also delighted to receive ‘Billy the Bunny’ – an additional statue for the sensory garden which was a gift from Mr Buchanan.

Speaking about the reason behind the creation of the time capsule, Linsey Stocks explained: “Lockdown has been hard on everyone but for disabled people it has been even worse.

"The deaf and hard of hearing members of our community struggled horrendously with masks and communication leaving many isolated.

"Similarly, for people with sight conditions, social distancing was impossible and many opted to shield, avoiding public places and, again, increasing their isolation from society.

“We wanted to recognise just how hard it has been for people with sensory conditions over the last 18 months and record just what it has been like not being able to get out and having to live with all the different rules and restrictions.

"The time capsule includes several personal stories and experiences as well as common items associated with the pandemic and a thank you to our NHS Forth Valley partners.”

The event also provided an opportunity for attendees to hear more about the Making Sense of Climate Change Project at the centre.

Project Leader Sara Burns said: “Planting trees is one of the best carbon conscious things we can do to help stop climate change so it seemed fitting, while we are looking at the impact dramatic changes have on our lives, to also consider the future and the dramatic changes we are bringing on ourselves.

“Our project aims to help people with a sensory background understand what climate change is, what it might mean for them, the changes they can make to help stop it and, most importantly, why those changes are needed.”

Burying the capsule, Mr Buchanan added: “It has been a difficult time for everyone but it was humbling to hear how the pandemic affected disabled people, especially those already isolated through sensory loss.

"I have the greatest of respect for the resilience of these members of our community who have battled through with the unwavering support of charities like Forth Valley Sensory Centre and RNIB Scotland as well as the heroic work of NHS Forth Valley.”

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