Friday, 19 April 2024
Friday, 19 April 2024

Two volunteers with sight loss recognised at awards ceremony

TWO volunteers at a charity supporting people with sensory impairments have been recognised for their efforts at an awards ceremony. Matt Davies, 57, and Stephen Smith 46 were named as finalists at Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise’s (SVE) Inspire Volunteering Awards.

Both men volunteer with Forth Valley Sensory Centre (FVSC), which offers support, advice, practical help and social opportunities to people with sight and hearing loss in central Scotland.

Matt, who spends three days a week at the centre helping people with IT and accessible technology, was given the Health and Wellbeing Award, sponsored by the NHS, at the ceremony at Stirling’s Albert Halls last week.

Matt has macular degeneration and is interested in using technology to make the lives of people with sight loss easier. He visits centre users’ homes to fix voice-controlled heating systems and explores other ways they can use ‘smart’ technology.

Matt also helps out with the Macular Group, which is run by the Macular Society and hosted at FVSC. He offers emotional support to other people with macular degeneration.
Separately, Stephen, who is blind, was a finalist in the Climate Action and Nature category of the awards for his work on several environmental projects.

He attends FVSC almost every day and volunteers in the centre’s ‘kitchen garden’ which provides fruit and vegetables for use in the enterprise café. Stephen has been a centre user for many years and his involvement led to him becoming a volunteer. Organisers of the SVE awards also nominated Stephen as a finalist in the event’s Inspire category.

Hannah Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator at Forth Valley Sensory Centre, said:

“We are over the moon that Matt and Stephen were recognised in this way. All of our volunteers work tirelessly and we’re incredibly pleased to see their efforts and dedication being acknowledged.

“Matt was a deserving winner of the Health and Wellbeing Award, and it was wonderful to see Stephen named as a finalist in two other categories. The event itself was a great night – everyone had a brilliant time.”

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