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North-east charity receives £90,000 donation to secure employment for blind and deaf people

Caroline Rutherford, fundraising manager with NESS.
Caroline Rutherford, fundraising manager with NESS.

A north-east charity has been given a £90,000 funding boost to help people with sensory difficulties find work.

North East Sensory Services (Ness) will receive £18,000 from the Robertson Trust over the next five years to support its employment service in Aberdeen and Dundee.

The support scheme helps blind and deaf people find work, education and training opportunities while also assisting those who have recently been diagnosed remain in their current job.

Caroline Rutherford, fundraising manager for Ness, said: “Enabling people with sensory impairments to find employment is a key way to increase independence.

“Increasing independence is one of the best things you can do for someone living with a sensory impairment.

“This generous donation will make a real difference to blind and deaf people right across the north-east of Scotland, and we are extremely grateful to the Robertson Trust.

Impaired individuals under represented in the workplace

The grant comes just weeks after the charity resumed face-to-face services.

A recent study by the charity found visually impaired people are badly under-represented in the workplace, with two-thirds of those registered blind or partially sighted of working age not in employment.

Meanwhile, individuals with hearing difficulties are four times more likely to be unemployed than the general population.

Founded in 1879, Ness supports around 6,500 people with sensory impairments each year icn Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee and Moray.

Their aim is to achieve a society in which people living with sensory loss are able to fully participate and contribute to the same level as those without sensory loss.

Impressive track record

Stewart MacGregor, funding manager at The Robertson Trust, praised the charity for their dedicated work.

He said: “We are delighted to support North East Sensory Service’s employment service programme.

“As part of our 2020-30 strategy, we are committed to funding work which helps to build skills and supports people who may lack access to support to enter or remain in the job market.

“We were impressed with Ness’s track record of providing effective practical support across north-east Scotland. The organisation is a sector leader for delivering joint sensory services and we very much look forward to seeing how this project progresses in the coming years.”

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