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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scottish sensory loss charities appeal for gifts in wills to sustain lifeline services


Seescape, Forth Valley Sensory Centre and VisionPK have joined forces to explain how donations are more needed than ever

A coalition of charities which provide lifeline help and support to people living with sight and hearing loss in Scotland are appealing for people to consider leaving a gift in their will to help them continue their vital work.
Fife charity Seescape, Forth Valley Sensory Centre and VisionPK in Perth and Kinross have joined forces to explain how donations are more needed than ever.
The charities, which together support more than 27,000 people in Scotland every year, said they are facing an increasingly challenging economic climate.
Gifts left in wills and donations made in memory of a loved one can be a wonderful way to make a difference and help people with sensory loss in the local community.
Seescape has received nearly half-a-million pounds in legacies over the past decade, which has enabled it to support more blind and partially sighted people across Fife. One of its summer barge trips is pictured, above.
This includes a community engagement service which provides a lifeline to 1,300 blind or partially sighted people who are lonely or isolated from their community.  
The service includes a befriending service and community groups, which would have been difficult to fund without this vital financial support.
Money raised in gifts in wills has also funded eight years of Seescape’s assistive technology service, which helps people with a visual impairment live independently and stay connected to their friends and family. So far, the service has supported more than 1,200 people.
Leaving money to a charity can reduce the amount of inheritance tax owed by your estate to the government.
Any gift left to a charity in your will is tax free and can also reduce the overall inheritance tax that your loved ones will pay on your estate.
The charities have also been supported by collections at funerals in memory of loved ones.
This year, friends and family of former Seescape chief executive Carl Hodson donated more than £1,000 to the charity in his memory.
Seescape named a room after Mr Hodson at its Glenrothes hub as a permanent reminder of his contribution to the charity and its work.
Lesley Carcary, chief executive of Seescape, said: “Smaller, local charities like us rely on support from the public, particularly during today’s challenging economic climate, which is why we are appealing to supporters to consider leaving a gift in a will to enable us to support more people in the local area.
“We are extremely grateful to all our supporters. Leaving a gift in your will, however big or small, means we can do more to support people who have sight loss and continue to provide vital services for years to come.
“Giving a gift in a will can be a wonderful way to provide a lasting legacy by helping people live their lives to the full. Your kind gifts – of whatever size – can ensure support is there for the future.
“If you are considering leaving a gift to us in your will, we recommend you speak to a solicitor.”
Jacquie Winning, chief executive of Forth Valley Sensory Centre, said: “We are hugely grateful to all our supporters who help us continue our work to support people in the Forth Valley who have sight and/or hearing loss. 
“We rely on donations to help us bring life-changing services to people with sight and or/hearing loss in the Forth Valley and help tackle isolation and loneliness.
“There are lots of different ways to help us and leaving a lasting legacy in a will can be a wonderful way to ensure we can keep supporting people in the area for years to come.”
Kate Charles, chief executive of VisionPK, added: “We are extremely grateful to all our supporters for their generous donations which mean we can keep providing much-needed services to people in Perth and Kinross who are experiencing sight and/or hearing loss.
"Sensory loss can be a very isolating experience and lead to loss of confidence, and our work to connect people and support them to live independently makes a huge difference.
“Our ambition is to do more for people in Perth and Kinross. Expanding and widening our services means we can reach more people to reduce isolation, improve mental health and emotional wellbeing, both at the sensory hub and in the wider community.
“Leaving a gift in your will can be a wonderful way to leave a lasting legacy for people in your local area. Gifts of any size can ensure that support is there for people who need it for the future.”



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