April 04 at 07:30
People with sight and hearing loss are being promised greater help in York with the creation of a support hub. The Wilberforce Trust has won a contract from City of York Council to provide a ‘one stop shop’ for people with sensory loss. From Monday 3rd April, anyone can drop into the hub for free advice, for help with equipment and to join support groups. Hundreds of people in the city have some kind of sensory loss, from sight to hearing loss, and an ageing population is expected to mean these numbers increase.
Marilyn Bentham, the operations manager at the Wilberforce Trust, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer dual sensory services for people with sight and hearing loss in York. “After winning the council contract to provide these vital services we have put in place a team of dedicated volunteers and staff who look forward to helping people to remain active and independent.” The trust will run social groups, offering the opportunity to meet people in similar positions as loneliness can be an issue among people with sight and hearing loss, the charity says. “You can feel really isolated, especially with hearing loss,” Marilyn said.
Meanwhile, assessors can advise people on the equipment they could benefit from to help them live independently. Specialist equipment is available either on loan or for sale, and training, such as white cane training, is also available. Support services in York had been provided in different places until a consultation with people with sight and hearing loss found they wanted services run from one place and by the third sector. “You will always find a friendly welcome and some helpful advice to make life easier,” Marilyn said. “The idea is that you come in with a problem and leave with a solution.”
The Wilberforce Trust hub is based at 49 North Moor Road in Huntington. - The new hub will be open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Anyone can use the service, including people who may be asking questions on behalf of a person with hearing and/or sight loss.