On Thursday 28th November a distinguished group of people gathered at The
Forge Centre to celebrate a National Award won by Forest Sensory
Services for BEST SMALL LOCAL SOCIETY FOR THE VISUALLY IMPARED IN THE UK 2013.
Guests included Mr Robert Bernays OBE the Vice Lieutenant of the County, The Mayors of
Coleford. Lydney & Newent with representatives from Cinderford Council and local Rotary
Forest Sensory Services evolved out of 'FORGE' which was a well known local charity
concentrating on providing care & support for the visually impared.
Forest Sensory Services has only 2 members of staff and a small band of willing volunteers.
They receive NO regular income or funding from statuary bodies. Despite that they're a
'One Stop Shop' for all those suffering Sensory Loss in The Forest of Dean.
Currently they have over 300 people on their Database including 73 new referrals this year.
Their services range from providing Low Vision Assessments, issuing of magnifiers, Training
In eccentric viewing, a range of classes including Talking Computers, Reading Groups,
Lunch club, Social Afternoons and a Macular Support Group.
They've recently introduced a Buddying Scheme to help people gain confidence to participate fully in their own communities.
All this is achieved on a very small budget and in fact this financial year they've managed to
bring down their deficit from £30,000 to £10,000.
Patron of Forest Sensory Service Baroness Jan Royall of Blaisdon (who was unable to
attend) sent this message.
I am so very proud to be associated with Forest Sensory Services and I am delighted that
their work has been properly recognised with the award for the best local society in the UK.
A real achievement.
Jenny and her team do a superb job, supporting people with Audio and Visual impairments
and providing training for individuals and organisations that work with them.
An important aspect of their work is reaching out to those who too often are isolated
because of their impairment.
There is still much to do in our Forest community and we are grateful for your support.
We hope that you will join us on future occasions and that, in the meantime, you will spread
the word and raise awareness of the excellent service provided by FSS.
'The Visionary Awards' were launched in 2010 to highlight the achievements of local Sight
Loss Charities' and to spread the good practice throughout the sector.
The intention was to draw attention to the talent and innovation being employed every day
to improve the lives of people with sight loss.
Clearly Forest Sensory Services with their support for people with Auditory & Visual
Impairment and their families, exceeded all the things the judges were looking for.
The dedication of the two members of staff and the volunteers to improving quality of
life, promoting independence and supporting individuals on their personal journey with
sensory loss impressed the judges too.
Forest Sensory Service is assisting in many people adapting to a new way of life and fully
deserve the title :-
BEST SMALL LOCAL SOCIETY FOR THE VISUALLY IMPARES IN THE UK 2013