Leeds Hearing & Sight Loss Service supports Leeds residents from 16 years old who are deaf, hard of hearing, sight impaired, severely sight impaired or deafblind. Feel Good Factor is in partnership with BID Services (lead partner), Age UK Leeds and the Association of Blind Asians, who are all experts in delivering services to those with a sensory loss.

Wellbeing Calls During Lockdown

Feel Good Factor can provide wellbeing calls to people with hearing and/or sight loss during lockdown. Are you a Deaf BSL user? No problem! You can receive BSL video calls from our BSL NVQ Level 6 Development Worker.

Can you hear your doorbell?

Do you miss prescription deliveries because your hearing isn’t what it used to be? Do you stand in your hallway or leave your front door unlocked so you don’t miss visitors? You may be eligible for a free portable doorbell that you can carry around your house with you.

After receiving her free doorbell one deaf lady told us “I can’t believe it, this better than Christmas!”

Oooof! Turn it down!!!

If your family complain that you have the TV on too loud get in touch to find out about simple gadgets that can help you.

A referral can be made for a home assessment to work out which equipment may improve your quality of life and advice can be given about the cheapest company to buy it from.

Loss of independence?

Have you lost confidence being independent in the community due to having sight loss?

As well as striving to make Feel Good Factor’s general activities accessible for people with hearing and/or sight loss we also provide quarterly sensory impairment wellbeing events. Accessibility support is available before and during these events. For example if you’re visually impaired (VI) and have never been to Feel Good Factor before we can arrange a practice journey and a one to one tour around the building to work out any particular accessibility needs you have. We may also be able to cover the cost of a return taxi on the day of the event if transport is a barrier for you.

A VI person who had been isolated for a few years, had lost her confidence and was staying at home all the time received tailored support from our Development Worker for a few weeks. This included a home visit, hand holding to look round FGF and regular texts and phone calls to share information and build confidence. This led to her attending a Visual Impairment Wellbeing event at FGF. She travelled in a paid for taxi and was able to mingle and make friends with other attendees. She had previously been very anxious about solo taxi travel and socialising. This was a new experience for her that was made possible by our personalised service.

Another VI person wanted to learn meditation but was finding it hard to access a class. We arranged for a volunteer meditation teacher (accompanied by our Development Worker) to lead free personalised mindfulness sessions in her own living room.

Afterwards she said “I feel like I’m floating and I felt much more comfortable meditating in my own home”.

Please get in touch to find out how we can support you to achieve your health and wellbeing goals – see our contact details below.

Eyes Around the World Social Group

What’s it like being visually impaired in Hungary, India or Nigeria? Our online international VI social group helps VI people in Leeds share experiences and learn from handpicked VI people from across the world.  Eyes Around the World is just like travelling whilst in the comfort of your own home!

One VI service user was very unsure about speaking to people from other countries as she hadn’t any previous experience of doing so. Since attending the group she has grown in confidence and enjoyed telling people about her interests. Listening to stories from people in other parts of the world is also broadening her horizons. She particularly enjoyed it when a young VI person in Kashmir, India told us “I walk with my cane in my right hand and have a rope in my left hand to pull the cows along.”

What’s it like being a Deaf sign language user refugee migrating to Leeds? Imagine not only having to adjust to British culture, sort out benefits, housing and healthcare but being, for example, a Kurdish Sign Language user with no native reading or writing skills to be able to translate into English due to originating from a rural area. How would you access information and adjust to your new life in the UK?

Feel Good Factor supports and makes referrals for Deaf migrants needing to transition from their country of origins’ Sign Language to British Sign Language. We liaise with other organisations working with Deaf migrants to give advice and teach some relevant BSL phrases to their staff such as “don’t come to my office because of Coronavirus. Stay home, stay safe”. We also have a small fortnightly Deaf group for people that may have barriers to accessing mainstream Deaf groups.

Hand Holding to BID Services at Gallery House

Our main partner BID Services have an information, advice and guidance drop in service. They also have visual and hearing impairment equipment rooms so people can try things out and work out which equipment may benefit them. Staff can also support with letter reading and internet access. If you have hearing and/or sight loss and are nervous about accessing this for the first time we can offer a hand holding service to support your confidence in navigating the building, meeting BID Services staff and accessing the drop in services.

Alternatively Feel Good Factor can make referrals to BID Services on your behalf for various types of support such as mental health services, specialist equipment, lip reading classes, communicator guides for deafblind people and much more.

Every Sensory Impaired person has unique interests and support needs. Contact us today so we can find out what yours are! We are sensitive, patient, responsive and we want to help you thrive.

For more information, to share your ideas for new groups or have a chat about your own or your family’s eyesight and hearing please contact:

Tracey Nicholls

Sensory Impairment Development Worker (BME Communities)

Feel Good Factor: 0113 3504200

Mobile: 07523 515266 tracey@fgfleeds.org