A former social worker has been promoted to the senior leadership team of a North East charity that supports deaf and blind people.
Carla Marchbank has taken up the post of Statutory Services Manager with North East Sensory Services (NESS).
It follows a social work career spanning three decades, during which she learned British Sign Language in her own time to better support deaf clients.
Carla, from Dundee, qualified in 1996 after attending Dundee University and previously worked at Tayside Deaf Association.
She has been with NESS since around 2013 when the charity was chosen to provide deaf services, and later joint sensory services, on behalf of Dundee City Council.
Currently, NESS supports over 6,500 people with sensory loss throughout Aberdeen, Moray, Dundee, Angus and Aberdeenshire.
In her new role, Carla will be responsible for the charity’s core services and will lead the fieldwork team.
This includes social workers, rehabilitation and fieldwork officers and assistants across the four local authority areas of Aberdeen, Angus, Dundee and Moray.
She takes over from Ann Robertson, who retired at the end of July after 11 years working with NESS.
Carla said she first became interested in BSL during a university placement and later learned the language by taking night classes.
She told how she will miss working directly with clients, but hopes to continue the efforts made by NESS during the Covid pandemic to ensure staff members and service users “felt heard, supported and listened to”.
“As a team, we felt supported throughout the challenges of the pandemic.
“There was an open door for people to go to senior managers to say if they were concerned or worried about any aspects of their work.
“I hope to continue in that vein in my new role as Statutory Service Manager.
“I’ve been lucky to have good managers over the course of my career, and hopefully I’ll be able to pick up on the good things and find my own ways of doing them.
“I will miss working directly with clients as a social worker, but I’m excited about this new role and the different challenges it will bring.”