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Highland branch of Poppyscotland armed forces charity to host event on support for people with sensory impairment

By Gregor White

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Poppyscotland’s Welfare Centre in Inverness will host a Sensory Impairment Open Day this week.

It will take place on Wednesday (December 4) to highlight the opportunities available to those affected by sensory loss.

Inverness welfare services manager Nina Semple said: “We are asking all members of the armed forces community to come down to the centre next week so that they can speak with providers in a welcoming and relaxed environment in order to boost their knowledge and understanding of the range of sensory impairment supports available locally and how to access them.

“Our studies have shown that around one in six ex-service personnel suffer from some kind of sensory loss, which is why this open day is so important. Serious instances of hearing and sight loss impact significantly on an individual’s life, both physically and psychologically.”

She added: “Sensory impairment can have a hugely detrimental effect on every aspect of life. That veterans under the age of 75 are approximately three-and-a-half times more likely than the general population to suffer some sort of hearing impairment is a statistic that indicates a serious problem among the armed forces population.

“Sight loss, whatever the cause, has a significant impact on an individual’s independence and can be very isolating. Given the risk of sight loss increases significantly with age, thousands of older veterans in Scotland are affected.

“It is important veterans are aware of the support which is available to them at Scottish War Blinded, no matter how sight loss occurred.”

Representatives from relevant organisations such as Scottish War Blinded and Action on Hearing Loss will attend the event.

Rebecca Barr, director of Scottish War Blinded, said: “We are pleased to be a part of this Poppyscotland event and to have the opportunity to share information about the free support we offer with members of the community.

“Scottish War Blinded provide tailored support to armed forces veterans with a visual impairment, no matter the cause of sight loss. Many veterans, such as those who completed National Service, have age-related sight loss and we’re here to offer them support.”

For more information about the event, call 01463 710 300 or email Inverness@poppyscotland.org.uk

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