Aug 202017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

A North-east bike ride is to cater to those of the four-legged variety, with the launch of a new ‘doggy daycare’ service.

Furry visitors to this year’s Chapelton Bike Ride, which takes place on Sunday, September 3, will have access to a ‘doggy pit stop’, thanks to a local dog walker.

Chapelton resident, Jenna Smith, who runs Long Dog Walkies, will be providing complimentary treats, toys and water to weary pooches on the day of the bike ride.

She will also be running a raffle, giving one lucky dog owner the chance to win a hamper of doggy treats.

Owners can choose to stay with their pets, or leave them with Jenna for a short period of time, whilst they browse the full range of stalls and activities on offer.

The 28-year-old came up with the idea of the doggy pit stop after noticing the high number of dogs in attendance at last year’s bike ride, prompting her to contact the organisers of the event to offer her services.

Held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports over 6,500 people with sensory impairments across the North-east, the inaugural Chapelton Bike Ride welcomed over 250 cyclists and hundreds of other spectators to the village of Chapelton last year.

Jenna said:

“I wanted to give something back to my local community by getting involved with this year’s bike ride, as I noticed there were a lot of doggy companions at last year’s event. As a dog owner myself, I felt it was important to provide a peaceful area where dogs could rest away from large crowds of people.

“I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of new furry friends and soaking up the atmosphere on the day. NESS provides invaluable support to many people across the North-east, so it is great that everyone is coming together to raise as much funds as possible.”

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“It is great to see the huge increase in the number of local businesses getting involved with this year’s bike ride. We’re very thankful to Jenna for offering a complimentary dog minding service, as this will encourage more people to come along to enjoy the wide range of activities on offer.

“Money raised from the Chapelton Bike Ride enables NESS to continuing supporting people with sensory impairments achieve independence, as well as helping them overcome any challenges they may face in day-to-day life. These services make such a big difference to the lives of so many people, so we are extremely grateful to everyone who is taking part and helping to fundraise.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 3. Participants have the choice of a 42-mile bike ride, a 12-mile bike ride or a 5K walk.  

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £15 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle. The 5K walk is free to enter, but all participants must register via the website. Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk

Jul 282017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Owners of The Lounge, Kelly Daun and Norman Hatton keen to get involved with the event.

An Aberdeenshire salon is showing its commitment to the local community by supporting cyclists in the region’s newest bike ride.

In a bid to boost morale and community spirit, staff from The Lounge at Chapelton, near Newtonhill, will be providing complimentary leg and shoulder massages to cyclists at this year’s Chapelton Bike Ride.

Taking place on Sunday, September 3, the bike ride is held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS) and is returning to the village of Chapelton for the second year in a row. Last year, over 250 cyclists took part in the inaugural Chapelton Bike Ride, raising over £6,500 for NESS.

NESS, which has offices in Aberdeen, Elgin and Dundee, supports over 6,000 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. The charity helps those with a sensory impairment to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence. 

Starting and finishing in Chapelton, the event’s 12-mile and 42-mile bike rides, as well as the newly launched 5K walk, will take participants around the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside surrounding the area.

On completion of the bike rides, weary cyclists will then be treated to a variety of treatments from The Lounge that will help their muscles to recover faster. They will also receive a gift bag containing discount vouchers and other goodies.

Owners of The Lounge, Kelly Daun and Norman Hatton, both reside locally and were keen to get involved with such a large community event. The salon hadn’t opened at the time of the first Chapelton Bike Ride, so they felt it was important to give their support to cyclists fundraising for NESS.

Kelly said:

“Since the salon opened, we’ve been warmly welcomed by Chapelton residents and other local businesses. The Chapelton Bike Ride is a great way for us to give something back to our community, as well as providing a nice incentive to cyclists who are raising money for a very worthy cause.

“We hope that by offering complimentary massages, we can encourage even more cyclists to participate in the bike ride and raise funds for NESS. All of us at The Lounge are honoured to be involved in an event that benefits the entire community and we’re all looking forward to the day.”

Neil Skene, fundraising coordinator for NESS, said:

“We’re very thankful to the team at The Lounge for volunteering their services on the day of the Chapelton Bike Ride. We are aiming to make this year’s bike ride a fun day out for all the family and have already improved the range of activities on offer, so the complimentary massages will only add to this experience.

“All funds raised by cyclists, walkers and spectators will enable us to continue supporting our service users to overcome the practical and emotional effects of sight or hearing loss, so we are extremely grateful to all of those taking part.

“NESS staff will be there on the day to cheer on participants and take part in the sponsored 5K walk. It looks set to be a great day of sport and fun, so I urge people to get involved and enjoy the wide range of live music, food and drink stands, and family activities that will be on offer.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride, formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, is taking place on Sunday, September 3, and is raising funds for North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports over 6,000 sensory impaired people in the North-east.

North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss.  NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence.  Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Elgin and Moray.

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Jul 032017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

A businessman from Moray recently geared up to raise vital funds for a North-east charity by participating in an annual sponsored bike ride.

Mervyn Stanley, from Elgin, took part in the Glen Moray Sportive for the sixth year in a row, in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports around 1,100 people in Moray who have significant sight and/or hearing loss by providing a wide range of services.

The Glen Moray Bike Ride, which took place on Sunday, 25 June, featured three cycling options, a 10-mile family friendly route, a 25-mile route and 75-mile sportive.

This was the 18th year that it was hosted by NESS, with support from Moray Council, and was sponsored for the fifth time by Elgin’s Glen Moray Distillery, which was the start and finishing point for riders.

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Jul 032017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Chapelton residents with Neil Skene from NESS and the Duke and Duchess of Fife.

Organisers of Aberdeenshire’s newest bike ride are hoping to attract record numbers of participants through the launch of a new 5K charity walk.
The Chapelton Bike Ride returns for a second year on Sunday, September 3, with the addition of the new Chapelton 5K Walk sponsored by Liberty Retirement Living, which will coincide with the event’s 42-mile and 12-mile bike rides.

Held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), the event was formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, before it moved to the village of Chapelton, near Newtonhill.

Last year, over 250 cyclists took part in the first ever Chapelton Bike Ride, raising over £6,500 for NESS.

NESS, which has offices in Elgin, Aberdeen and Dundee, supports over 6,000 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. The charity helps those with a sensory impairment to overcome the practical and emotional effects of serious sight and/or hearing loss, as well as guiding them to achieve more independence.  

Event organisers hope that the launch of the walk will encourage people of all ages and abilities to get involved with the sporting event, especially those who are unable to participate in both the bike rides. Starting and finishing in Chapelton, the 5K route will take participants around the picturesque Aberdeenshire countryside surrounding Chapelton and Elsick.

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“We are all thrilled about the launch of the 5K Chapelton walk, as it opens up the event to a much more diverse group of people who might not have been able to take part in either of the bike rides.

“The first ever Chapelton Bike Ride was a complete success, we were very happy that most cyclists and spectators chose to stay and enjoy the variety of stalls that were available. This year, we hope to turn the event into a fun day for all the family and have improved the range of activities, food and drink options, and music on offer.

“I am proud to be part of an event that aims to involve every single member of the community. There will be something for everyone and I would like to encourage as many people as possible to come along, enjoy the day and help raise vital funds for NESS.”

Liberty Retirement Living, sponsors of the Chapelton Charity 5K Walk, are building a brand new retirement village in Chapelton, as part of the town’s next phase of development.

Karl Hallows, director of development and sales at Liberty Retirement Living, said:

“The first Chapelton Charity 5K walk promises to be a fantastic community event for residents of Chapelton and the surrounding area.

“We’re delighted to be able to support such a fun and inclusive event that promotes healthy, active lifestyles for everyone. Whatever your age, we’re sure there’ll be plenty to enjoy at this year’s inaugural charity walk.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 3. Participants have the choice of a 42-mile bike ride, a 12-mile bike ride or a 5K walk.

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £15 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle. The 5K walk is free to enter, but all participants must register via the website. Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk.

North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss. 

NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence. 

Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Dundee, Elgin and Moray. 

Liberty Retirement Living: Building brand new communities in desirable locations across the country, Liberty Retirement Living is committed to improving the quality and experience of later life.

A Liberty Lifestyle combines good health, opportunities and independence with tailored care available if required – it’s our vision for enjoyable and modern retirement living, delivered with respect.

Our first retirement village in Scotland will be a vibrant 94-home community with a range of complementary facilities, at the heart of the growing town of Chapelton, Aberdeenshire.

A new Liberty marketing suite will open in Chapelton in September 2017 – in the meantime, please visit www.libertyretirement.co.uk for further details.

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Apr 282017
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Local businesses are being encouraged to get behind Aberdeenshire’s newest cycling event by showcasing the best of what the region has to offer.
Organisers of the Chapelton Bike Ride, which takes place on Sunday, 3 September, are looking to expand on last year’s event by increasing the number of stalls and activities on offer.

The inaugural Chapelton Bike Ride took place last year and welcomed hundreds of cyclists and spectators to the village of Chapelton, near Newtonhill.

The event featured stalls from local businesses such as Serenity Scented Candles, and local artist, Bee Struthers, as well as food and drink from The Bay Fish & Chips, Cav & Co and Bannerman Butchers.

Held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity that supports over 6,000 people with sensory impairments across the North-east, last year’s bike ride raised over £6,500 for the charity, enabling it to continue to provide life-enhancing services to people with sight and/or hearing loss. 

Alastair Struthers, sales executive at ZeroC Homes, an organiser of the event, said:

“The first ever Chapelton Bike Ride was a huge success, so we’re looking forward to making this year’s event even bigger and better, with more stalls, food stands and activities for everyone to get involved with.

“As well as raising money for NESS, we are committed to creating a sporting event for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy. Involving local businesses will help to establish the Chapelton Bike Ride as a real community event that people will continue to look forward to year after year.”

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“We’re very pleased to hear that there are plans to increase what is on offer at the next Chapelton Bike Ride, as it should encourage even more people to attend this year’s event.

“It looks set to be a very enjoyable day for all of the community and we’re very thankful to everyone who is participating and raising funds for NESS on the day.”

If you are interested in becoming a stallholder at this year’s Chapelton Bike Ride, please contact Alastair Struthers on a.struthers@zeroc.co.uk. More information about the bike ride can be found at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk.

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £15 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle. Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at https://www.q-buster.co.uk/chapelton.

North East Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss.   

NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence.   

Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 6,000 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.   

Awards:   

2016: Winner, IIP Award Excellence in Third Sector   
Finalist Elevator Awards and Trend Awards   
2015: Winner, Elevator Award, Winner, Trend Award 

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Feb 072017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

L-R, Paul Whitecross, Nick Nairn and Ross Spence.

Three of Scotland’s finest chefs are teaming up to share their passion for food in a unique culinary experience, which is set to be a recipe for success for Aberdeen.
Nick Nairn, Ross Spence, executive chef at The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa and Paul Whitecross, executive chef at Trump International, will each present an individual course aimed at delighting the senses, showcasing their world-renowned gastronomic skills.

The trio are working together to cook-up Savour, a culinary feast which will take place on Saturday, 4th March, at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa.

The event is being hosted alongside North East Sensory Services (NESS), a charity which supports people of all ages from babies to grandparents, who were born deaf or blind, or for those who have lost their sight or hearing.

The chefs will each create a course for the gastronomic adventure, focusing on the senses of taste, smell and sight, which coincides with the charity’s work with people with sensory issues.

Ross Spence said:

“It’s fantastic to be able to work with Nick and Paul for this event and we will present a superb overall dinner which will thoroughly delight the guests. NESS is an important charity in Aberdeen and across the North-east, supporting more and more people with hearing or sight loss, and we are delighted to host this unique evening.”

Paul Whitecross added:

“The team at Trump International is always keen to support charities which are important to the North-east community and this is set to be a fantastic foodie event to tantalise the tastebuds of the diners who are lucky enough to secure a place at this exclusive event.” 

Nick Nairn commented:

“Given our position with the business and our commitment to the North-east we wanted to be able to give something back to the community that supports us.  NESS is an excellent charity and it’s a wonderful opportunity and a wee challenge to create a feast which excites the senses.”

NESS CEO Graham Findlay said:

“We are delighted that these prestigious chefs are taking the time to devise and present a unique menu for NESS. We are looking forward to an incredible evening, which will excite the senses.

“Nick, Ross and Paul are great supporters of NESS and the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa has been a very good friend to the charity for many years.”

As well as a four-course dinner focusing on the senses of taste, smell, and sight, the evening will include a champagne drinks reception, a VIP auction and raffle, followed by entertainment and dancing.

Savour will take place on Saturday, 4th March, 2017, at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa. Tables are priced at £950, with individual tickets available at £95, and can be purchased from neil.skene@nesensoryservices.org or by calling 0345 271 2345.

Issued by Frasermedia Ltd on behalf of NESS.

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Jan 062017
 

With thanks to Yvette Rayner, PR Account Manager, Frasermedia.

NESS CEO, Graham Findlay

A 137-year-old north-east charity is looking forward to continued success after celebrating its best year ever in 2016.  North East Sensory Services (NESS), which has centres in Aberdeen, Dundee and Elgin, won four new contracts in 2016 to offer its services to over a thousand additional blind and deaf people across Scotland, bringing the number of people it supports to over 5,500.

In Dundee, NESS has provided support to deaf people since April 2013, and in October the charity won a tender to expand its services to blind people, enabling it to offer a joint sensory service, including rehabilitation and practical advice, under one roof.

As a result, those with both hearing and sight loss will be able to access help in one visit. NESS will also offer additional services to Dundee and Angus in 2017, including IT support and employment advice.

Additionally, NESS successfully tendered to continue its popular service for blind and deaf people in Moray, as well as winning two separate contracts to provide blind and deaf services on behalf of Angus Council.

In July, the charity won the Investors in People, ‘Excellence in the Third Sector’ international award after achieving the Investors in People Gold Standard in March, following a comprehensive analysis of the charity’s people management.

NESS has also recently launched a revolutionary new website designed for easy use by those who have very poor vision, offering advice on living with sensory loss and detailed information on support services available across the North-east.

Furthermore, NESS played an important role in sight loss research by hosting the Aberdeen Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) Information Day in September, which saw scientists share the latest RP genetic research advances.

NESS CEO, Graham Findlay, said:

“Despite challenging times, 2016 was a milestone year for NESS. We are delighted to have won four competitive tenders, which are the result of a great deal of hard work and dedication by every member of staff and volunteer at NESS. 

“Joint sensory services are a major step forward and NESS has been a pioneer in providing help and advice for blind and deaf people under one roof. Many older people have difficulties with both vision and hearing, so being able to access support for both senses in one place is a major advantage.

“Demand for our services is increasing due to an ageing population, so it is important that we continue to develop our services and expand.

“Blind and deaf people rely upon the support we provide, to help them achieve greater independence, so the charity is constantly evolving to ensure we are able to help service users lead life to the full. In 2017, we will continue to look for new ways to support our service users and help as many people as we can.”

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Sep 092016
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

bike-ride_32lo

Aberdeenshire’s newest bike ride has been hailed as a huge success, after hundreds of cyclists and spectators attended the event on Sunday 4 September.

A total of 238 participants took part in the Chapelton Bike Ride, which took place in the new town of Chapelton, near Newtonhill. Hundreds of spectators flocked to the town’s Hume Square to watch as cyclists returned from the 12 and 42-mile routes.

The bike ride was held in aid of North East Sensory Services (NESS), a sensory impairment charity that supports over 4800 people in the North-east. Over £6000 was raised for NESS through the Chapelton Bike Ride, which will help the charity provide social work and life-enhancing services to people who have sight or hearing loss.

Also participating in the event were housebuilders from Chapelton developers ZeroC, A&J Stephen and AJC Homes, as well as David Carnegie, the Duke of Fife, from Elsick Development Company. After a friendly competition against one another, Alistair Gordon, Earl of Aboyne and managing director of AJC Homes, came out on top, as he crossed the finish line with a time of 2 hours 45 minutes across the 42-mile route.

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“All of us here at NESS are thrilled with the number of cyclists and spectators who attended the Chapelton Bike Ride. A lot of organisation and planning went into the event, as it’s only in its first year, so it’s great to see that all the hard work has paid off.

“It was a fantastic day and we received lots of positive feedback from the cyclists, who said that both the 12 and 42-mile routes were great fun to take on.

“The atmosphere in Chapelton was buzzing, as the square was packed full of residents and visitors who turned out to enjoy the wonderful local music and food and drink that was on offer – as well as cheering on the cyclists throughout the day.

“We’re extremely thankful to everyone who participated and raised vital funds for NESS, as well as the main sponsors, Savills and Burness Paull. Thanks to their support we can continue to help people with a sensory impairment achieve independence and overcome any challenges they may face in day-to-day life.”

Caroline Fife, the Duchess of Fife, director of Elsick Development company, the developer behind Chapelton, said:

“It was a great feeling welcoming everyone to Chapelton for our first ever major event. The day was a huge success and we’re proud to have worked alongside NESS to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause.

“Chapelton’s sense of community was really evident on Sunday and the spectators did a brilliant job of cheering on the cyclists, which helped to significantly boost their morale.

“The live music, entertainment and delicious food available were all extremely well received and everyone who came along had a great day out.

“There was lots of healthy competition between the Chapelton housebuilders and they had a good laugh joking about who would finish first, so it was very entertaining watching Alistair from AJC Homes cross the finish line first.

“I’ve also been really impressed by everyone’s fundraising efforts for NESS and fully embracing this charity initiative within the community where they work.

“We’re also very thankful to the participants and spectators for all their support and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Chapelton next year.”

NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence.

Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 4,500 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

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Jul 212016
 

With thanks to Gemma Setter, PR Account Executive, Frasermedia.

Chapelton Bike Ride

Chapelton builders are to swap hard hats for helmets as they gear up to raise money for local charity

Four housebuilding and development firms are gearing up to take part in the Chapelton Bike Ride on Sunday September 4 to raise money for North East Sensory Services (NESS).

Builders from ZeroC, AJC Homes, Elsick Development Company, and A&J Stephen, will be competing against one another at the Chapelton Bike Ride to raise funds for NESS.

North East Sensory Services (NESS), which has offices in Aberdeen, Dundee and Elgin, supports over 4800 people in the North-east who have sight or hearing loss. By providing both social work and life-enhancing services, NESS is able to help those with a sensory impairment overcome challenges and achieve independence.

All three of the teams are hoping raise a substantial amount of money for NESS by taking on the 42-mile bike ride, which will raise vital funds for the charity, which helps those with sight or hearing loss achieve independence.

This is the first year that the Chapelton Bike Ride, formerly the Great Stonehaven Bike Ride, has taken place in the new town, which is situated near Newtonhill.

Starting and finishing at Teacake coffee shop in Chapelton, the bike ride takes cyclists into the seaside town of Stonehaven, through Fetteresso and Durris Forests’, before leading them towards Maryculter and the picturesque banks of the River Dee, then looping back round towards Chapelton.

Caroline Fife, the Duchess of Fife, landowner and developer of Chapelton, said:

“All three housebuilders working on Chapelton are really committed to making the bike ride a big success and putting it on the map.

“Each is gathering a team together for a good-natured competition, so there will certainly be a great deal of secret training involved. There’s a lot of friendly banter between the groups, but it’s all in jest as the real reason they’re all taking part is to raise money for a worthwhile cause.

“Chapelton residents have also expressed an interest in registering for the ride to raise money for NESS. It’s great to see so many people getting involved in the bike ride to fundraise for such an important charity.

“The Chapelton Bike Ride is going to be the first in a long line of community events, so we’re all thrilled to see the housebuilders really taking an interest in the area by signing up for the event. They’ve all really risen to the challenge and it’s so inspiring to see building companies get involved with local communities and causes.”

Neil Skene, fundraising co-ordinator at NESS, said:

“We’re so thankful to the teams at Stephen, ZeroC, and AJC Homes for getting on their bikes to raise money for NESS. Their fundraising enables us to continue providing much-needed support and assistance to people with sight or hearing loss.

“All of us at NESS are really excited about the new route and all the events available on the day. There will be something for everyone, from cyclists and walkers, to foodies and music fans. We hope that lots of people come along to either participate in the bike ride, or help cheer the riders on and enjoy the variety of food and drink, crafts, and music on offer.”

The Chapelton Bike Ride takes place on Sunday, September 4. Cyclists have the choice of either a 42-mile or 12-mile bike route, whilst a three-mile walk is also available for those wishing to participate without having to get on their bikes.

Registration costs £15 per person for the 42-mile route, £5 per person for the 12-mile route, or £10 for a team of four for the 12-mile cycle.

Register for the Chapelton Bike Ride at www.chapeltonbikeride.co.uk.

  • North-east Sensory Services (NESS) promotes the needs of people with a sight or hearing loss.

NESS supports people with serious sight or hearing loss to overcome practical and emotional challenges and achieve independence.

Formerly Grampian Society for the Blind (GSB), North East Sensory Services (NESS) works with over 4,500 people with a sensory impairment in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray, Dundee, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

Awards:
2016: Winner, IIP Award Excellence in Third Sector
Finalist Elevator Awards and Trend Awards.
2015: Winner, Elevator Award, Winner, Trend Award.

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Jun 222012
 

Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, has pledged her support to a Guide Dogs’ campaign to highlight the issue of guide dogs being attacked by other dogs and recently met with guide dog owners and their assistance dogs to listen to their own experiences.

Research by the charity has revealed that more than eight guide dogs are attacked every month.  These attacks can result in the guide dogs being unable to work and, in some cases, they can never work again.

This can have a devastating impact on the owner as they are then unable to go out independently whilst they wait for a new guide dog.

This also has financial implications for the charity, which pays the full costs of a guide dog – approximately £50,000 throughout its lifetime.

Guide dog owner William Sharkey told Dame Anne about an incident involving his assistance dog Lily:

“As a newly qualified guide dog owner, I was very angry when Lily was attacked by two dogs in Aberdeen city centre.  I was particularly horrified that the owner took no action to restrain their dogs and afterwards I didn’t think it was worth reporting to the police as I was unable to identify the owner.  The incident really knocked Lily’s confidence and it took some time for her to return to her normal self.”

Although the recent announcement by the Westminster government to introduce compulsory micro-chipping in England is a welcome step forward, there is still  more work needed to protect guide dogs and their owners from these vicious attacks.

With concern increasing about the number of attacks by other dogs on guide dogs, the charity is also calling on the Government to give police the power to treat an attack on an assistance dog as seriously as an attack on a person.

David Cowdrey, Campaigns Manager at Guide Dogs said:

“There were 147 attacks on guide dogs between June, 2010 and December, 2011.  

“We believe that an attack on an assistance dog should be considered as an attack on the person, to reflect the fact that a guide dog is a vital mobility aid and that such attacks are very distressing for people who are already vulnerable.”

Dame Anne said:

“I was shocked to hear of the high number of attacks on guide dogs, as are those constituents who have contacted me about this issue and I will be lobbying the government to ensure meaningful measures are introduced to protect guide dogs and their owners.  

“Although the Scottish Government has already rejected compulsory micro-chipping, I hope that they will follow suit to ensure that guide dogs in Scotland are protected.  

“I would also call on anyone who witnesses an attack on a guide dog to help the police in identifying the offending owner.”