An Ayrshire charity which has 17 ‘help hubs,’ many of which are in South Ayrshire has been awarded £118,000 from the National Lottery.
The Sensory Impaired Support Group (SISG) delivers services across Ayrshire, providing support and information to thousands of deaf, hard of hearing and visually impaired people who otherwise would miss out.
SISG was formed in November 1998 following a volunteer pilot scheme within Ayr Hospital.
They now have four staff and operate 17 Help Hubs – Ayr (2), Cumnock, Girvan, Largs, Fenwick, Stewarton (2), Millport, Troon, Barassie, Galston, West Kilbride, Ballantrae, Prestwick, Kilmaurs and Kilmarnock and 45 volunteers working in the community.
During 2016 they carried out 5,984 visits to 2,074 hearing/sensory impaired elderly people across the region.
Denise McClung from the charity told us: “SISG Charity is delighted to have received this award from the Big Lottery who have supported the charity over many years, with the funds we plan to carry out a new development project – ‘Reducing Loneliness and Developing Management of Stress for Older People with Sensory Loss’.
“This project will help Older People throughout North, South and East Ayrshire who have lost their Hearing and/or Sight through the ageing process.
“We hope that our free services will help provide tools, training, coping strategies along with social/peer support, and will help establish new connections and friendships to help reduce the feelings of loneliness. This will, in turn, reduce levels of stress for those struggling with sensory loss.”
The group has six main services planned to help them achieve their aims, which includes group sessions within four areas; a new rural locations service to meet the needs of those unable to travel; a sensory connections cafe; hearing loss follow up workshops and a sudden hearing loss early intervention programme.