Raise awareness to help deafblind get help they need – Jo

Local MP Jo Swinson made a visit last week to Deafblind Scotland, based in Lenzie, in support of Deafblind Awareness Week. The week aims to raise awareness about deafblindness and to increase support for deafblind people and their families.

Jo heard how Deafblind Scotland chairman Bob Nolan and his wife Louise recently cycled to all 7 of Scotland’s cities to raise the profile of Deafblind Awareness Week and Deafblind Scotland. The daring duo started at the headquarters in Lenzie and finished at the Field of Dreams site where 450 balloons were released to mark the occasion.

Commenting Jo said:

“Deafblind Scotland and other charities across the UK are making it easier for deafblind children and adults to be full and active members of society.

“As a growing segment of our population ages severe dual sensory impairment will become increasingly common. Currently there are around 220,000 older people in the UK with combined severe dual sensory impairment, many of whom live at home. This number is predicted to double over the next 20 years, rising to 418,000 over the age of 70 by 2030.

 “Often older people with sight and hearing loss feel lonely and depressed. We need to do all we can so no one misses out on the support they need.”

Commenting Drena O’Malley, Initiatives Officer, Deafblind Scotland:

“Bob and Louise’s tandem ride was a great success. They and their support team met more than 240 people in 10 cities and towns across Scotland, including 150  deafblind members, 9 provosts and 6 partner organisations who work with us in the field of sensory impairment.  Bob and Louise had an accident on the first day when Louise suffered a possible cracked rib. The whole trip looked to be in jeopardy, but this inspirational couple are made of sterner stuff and within an hour or two she was back on the tandem – if cycling a little more slowly!”

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