At Saturday’s game against Ballinamallard we have teamed up with national charity, Deafblind UK, to raise awareness of combined sight and hearing loss. Players from our Academy will be taking penalties whilst wearing an eye mask and ear defenders. The aim is to make supporters aware of the dangers of not looking after their eyes and ears and to help them understand how challenging everyday tasks can be for those living with deafblindness. To date over 25 clubs throughout the UK including QPR and Hull City have committed to working with national charity Deafblind UK to raise awareness of combined sight and hearing loss in a fun way.

Director Eddie Drury said “As a club we are very proud to be involved with such an initiative and fully support the importance of raising awareness of sight and hearing loss.”

Shirley Scotcher from Deafblind UK said: “Deafblindness- or combined sight and hearing loss- is a growing issue in the UK, and predictions suggest that by 2030 there could be as many as 6 million people in the UK who are struggling with combined sight and hearing loss. This could be the fastest growing disability in the UK, yet many of us don’t realise that we’re affected by it or that support is available for it.

We are working with football clubs to highlight the value of looking after your sight and hearing, because once these senses have gone, it is impossible to get them back, and can lead to a life of loneliness and isolation. We have found that when people experience what it may be like to have reduced vision and hearing, they start to look after their sight by wearing the right eye protection and they start to turn down their head phones!”

Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, Deafblind UK supports people with sight and hearing loss to live the lives they want. It provides a wide range of direct support services and also supports other organisations to help their staff and customers.