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New board members welcomed to north-east charity as chairman steps down

By Kyle Ritchie

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North East Sensory Services (NESS) has welcomed new faces to its board as its long-serving chairman John Legg steps down.

Gordon McHardy takes up the role at the sensory loss charity and will be supported by Carmen Irving as vice-chairwoman and Kenneth Auld as finance director.

The new board members will guide and provide strategic direction to the charity as it supports thousands of people with sight and hearing loss across the north-east to live as independently and confidently as possible.

North East Sensory Services has added to its board.
North East Sensory Services has added to its board.

Gordon McHardy is a retired audiologist and former head of service for NHS Grampian.

Carmen Irving previously served as treasurer and has a wealth of experience of business and finance, while Kenneth Auld brings his expertise in the pensions industry to the board.

The charity, the second-oldest in Aberdeen, supports around 6500 people with sensory impairment and their families, through a wide range of social care services.

It promotes the positive contributions people with sensory impairments can make to society and shares stories highlighting the work the charity does.

Gordon McHardy said: “I have known the work of NESS for a number of years and have always been struck by its ethos and core values and the way it puts people first.

“I am looking forward to dealing with challenges facing the sector – particularly around the cost of living and fundraising challenges – and working with the staff team to build on its excellent services and good work it does.

“I would like to pay tribute to outgoing chairman John Legg, who has such vast experience and did a really good job as chair. He’ll be a hard act to follow.”

Kenneth Auld said: “When I saw what NESS was doing for people across the north-east who are affected by sight and hearing loss, I wanted to help and use the skills I have to make a difference. The services they provide are so essential – how could I say no?”

Carmen Irving said: “Everything NESS does is genuine and has the service user at its heart.

"The fact that it’s also more than 100 years old and local only adds to how special it is and how necessary the services the charity provides to those with sensory loss and their families is.

“I feel it’s important to help the charity get the support it needs and deserves. I may not be on the front line providing the invaluable services to those with sensory loss but by supporting NESS, I feel I can help the charity do what it needs to and in the right way.”

Outgoing chairman John Legg said: “It has been a great honour to be involved with NESS and to support them to provide practical and effective services for people with sensory loss.

“NESS is almost like a family. The staff, the leadership team, supporters and volunteers and service users – everyone is involved and it is a really inclusive organisation.

“It is always inspiring to hear of the ways that NESS’s support has made a difference to services users and their families, helping them through difficult times and giving them hope and confidence when things seemed bleak.

“I wish all the best to Gordon, Carmen and Kenneth and know they will do a fantastic job to support the NESS family in the years ahead.”

The charity is holding a colourful 70s and 80s themed ball to raise vital funds to support its work.

It takes place on Saturday, March 9, between 6pm and 1am.

For further information on sponsorship opportunities or to book tickets, contact lorraine.middleton@nesensoryservices.org or susan.mckay@nesensoryservices.org

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