Charities come together to deliver new sensory impairment support service

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Three charities are coming together to deliver Lincolnshire County Council’s sensory impairment support services.

The joint enterprise – called Lincolnshire Sensory Services – is a partnership between charities Action on Hearing Loss, Lincoln and Lindsey Blind Society (LLBS) and the South Lincolnshire Blind Society (SLBS). It comes into action on April 1.

The new partnership takes over from BID Services, known as Sensory Impairment Lincolnshire County Services (SILCS), and will bring extensive expertise in developing and delivering specialist support services across the spectrum of sensory loss.

Michael Quinlan, of Action on Hearing Loss said: “As a national charity, we’ve been running specialist support services for those with hearing loss across the UK since 1911. We’re really looking forward to working with our new partners to deliver a top quality dual sensory service for people in Lincolnshire. Across the partnership organisations we have access to over 300 trained volunteers and plan to recruit a further 50 to help us deliver an extensive county-wide outreach service. ”

The two local charities, LLBS and SLBS, have been supporting adults and children with sight loss across Lincolnshire since the early 1920s.

Mandy Johnson, of Lincoln & Lindsey Blind Society, said: “This is an exciting new partnership. The service will make a great difference to the lives of sensory impaired people, as the support they will receive will mean that they can continue to live at home, enabling them to retain their independence.”

Malcolm Swinburn, of South Lincolnshire Blind Society, added: “We are very happy to be a key partner in the new sensory support service for Lincolnshire. We bring many years of local knowledge and established networks to the partnership, continuing to ensure that sensory support is accessible for all.”

Coun Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for Adult Care and Children’s Services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “From time to time we are legally obliged to subject contracts to competition. We’ve updated our contract after consulting with people who are sensory impaired considering new national and local policy.

“The new contract will support more people, encourage a reduction in social isolation, better use of technology and a more integrated approach to working with health organisations and other partners.

“Although the provider is changing, people should continue getting the same service as they have been getting before. We’ll be working with the old and new providers to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible.”

The new partners will work closely with both Lincolnshire County Council and SILCS to ensure that current users of the service receive a high standard of support and continuity of care during the transition to the new service.

For more information, contact the Lincolnshire Sensory Services team on 01476 589513 or lincolnshiresensoryservices@hearingloss.org.uk