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Borders sensory service supported by volunteers

Volunteers have given up nearly 10,000 hours to support people with sight or hearing loss in the Scottish Borders.

They help-out a Galashiels based charity that provides a services for people with visual impairments, and information and equipment to people needing hearing aids.

The volunteers have now been recognised for the life-changing work they do.

Jenny Longden has this report.

Find out how you could volunteer here

Visually impaired volunteers help others

People with sight and hearing loss in the Scottish Borders are volunteering to help others in a similar situation.

Nearly 60 people volunteer for BLISS, a Galashiels based sensory service that provides counselling, information and advice.

Many of the volunteers are service users themselves, like RNIB volunteer Karen Maughan.

"I became visually impaired ten years ago after losing the sight in my right eye. There was no support for me there at that time and I felt I really needed someone to talk to.

"I put myself through college for three years and trained as a councillor. It is important for the people I speak to, that they know I've felt the depths of despair that they have, that they see me confident, that I have come through the other side of it, and it installs confidence in them that I can find normality in my life with sight loss."


"Life-changing" service for people with sensory loss

A service in the Scottish Borders that provides support for people with sight and hearing loss has released a report, highlighting the life-changing services it provides.

Galashiels based Borders Local Integrated Sensory Service (BLISS) provides skills classes, counselling and advice and information for people with sensory loss.

Two charities are involved in the project - RNIB Scotland and Action of Hearing Loss Scotland.

Since 2009, volunteers have given 9,650 hours to the service.

"Because of the rural location of the Borders, combined with limited public transport, it makes it very difficult for people with visual impairments to get out and about.

"So we provide services for people in their community. We have groups established in various parts of the Borders, where people can go along and socialise with other people with visual impairments.

"They can get support and advice from people with first-hand experience."

– Alison Paton-Day, RNIB Scotland