North East Sensory Services

5 July 2017

Sports fundraising event chooses local sensory impaired charity as beneficiary

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which supports over 6,500 blind and deaf people in north-east Scotland, will benefit from Sportschallenge, after being chosen from a host of other good causes, for the event which take place on 14th September 2017.

Held this year at Ardoe House Hotel, Sportschallenge is a popular fundraising event organised by Simmons and Company International. The event has raised more than £350,000 for local charities since its inception in 2012, and regularly attracts audiences of over 500 business people. Sportschallenge consistently supports Maggie’s Centre Aberdeen and Children’s Aid Scotland. In addition, each year also a number of local community charities receive donations, and this year NESS has been selected as a beneficiary.

NESS, which has offices in Aberdeen, Elgin and Dundee, provides practical and emotional support to people with severe hearing and sight loss.  The charity has been supporting people in Aberdeen since 1879, and today provides social work services as well as a wide range of charity funded ‘added value’ services including group activities for children and young people. The NESS resource centre in Aberdeen has a gym and a popular café, and a library facility for service users. 

Nick Dalgarno, managing director for Simmons and Company International, said: “We’ve been running this event for 5 years now and while it’s always a difficult task, choosing this year’s beneficiary has been the toughest yet. It’s clear that the downturn has hit local charities hard, with Sportschallenge beneficiary applications doubling for our 2017 event, and every single one reiterated that a reduction in corporate support is having a direct impact of the services offered.

“While all are deserving causes, NESS stood out for a number of reasons, but primarily because without our support, it’s Young People’s Sensory Service would be closed when funding came to an end in July this year. This critical project works with the youngest members of our community, who are dealing with the daily obstacles associated with their sight or hearing loss. The continuation of this project, underlines the significant difference events like Sportschallenge make in our local community and we are delighted to play our part.”

Graham Findlay, chief executive for NESS, commented: “As one of Aberdeen’s oldest charities, we are delighted to have been chosen to be a beneficiary of Sportschallenge. It is a fantastic event, which is a highlight of the calendar – particularly for sporting fans. This has come at a good time, as our young people’s service, which supports a large number of young people from babies to teenagers, was in danger due to long term funding coming to an end. NESS plays an important role in the lives of young people and their parents, helping them to cope with every day life, build confidence and also providing a safe and welcoming environment. our staff and volunteers regularly organise fun day trips and weekends away, to ensure young people have fun, make friends and live life to the full.

“The money raised at Sportschallenge this year will help fund these activities and we are extremely grateful to Simmons & Co for choosing NESS this year.”