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Dancing mission for Moray granny to help the deaf and blind during Covid-19 lockdown

Dorothy Bremner has been joined in filming her online videos by  Ann Hay, assistant community development officer with Health and Social Care Moray, pictured left, and neighbour Phyllis Campbell.
Dorothy Bremner has been joined in filming her online videos by Ann Hay, assistant community development officer with Health and Social Care Moray, pictured left, and neighbour Phyllis Campbell.

Dancing through lockdown has become more than just an exercise routine for a Moray grandmother on a mission to keep the north-east fit.

Dot Bremner, from Elgin, has boogied her way through the Covid-19 pandemic with a series of online videos to stay active while stuck at home.

The 82-year-old, who is partially sighted and almost completely deaf without a hearing aid, toured the region before the virus outbreak to run dance classes for over 60s and disability groups to raise money for charity North East Sensory Services (Ness).

Lockdown life has posed its challenges for the toe-tapping pensioner with video calls being particularly difficult due to her sight problems.

So, Mrs Bremner has set herself the challenge of dancing every day this month to raise money for Ness to support others facing the same issues.

Ann Hay, assistant community development officer with Health and Social Care, Moray, joins Dot Bremner for one of the dance routines.

She said: “I think people with sight and hearing problems have been doubly disadvantaged during Covid-19.

“Firstly, because they can’t seem to maintain social distancing. I struggle with depth perception. Guide dogs aren’t trained for it either. Lip reading and facial expressions are also difficult now too.

“I’ve also struggled with video calls because I can’t focus on the whole screen at the same time so it’s difficult for me to work out who’s talking.”

Mrs Bremner has been joined by friends Ann Hay and Phyllis Campbell for the daily back garden workouts – raising more than £1,000 for the charity so far.

Routines have included a Tartan Army special to cheer on Scotland ahead of their crucial football match against Serbia earlier this month.

Others have used tins of soup from the kitchen cupboard to work the muscles more while some routines have had a slower pace.

Big Interview: The 81-year-old grandmother continuing to spread a fitness message during lockdown

Mrs Hay, who helps coordinate the Ball (Be Active Life Long) groups Dot visits as part of her role with Health and Social Care Moray, said: “This has been a horrendous year for the groups because Dot herself is such a positive influence with her own sight and hearing issues.

“Doing the videos is a great way to encourage them to join in and keep going, even if some have told me they spend more time laughing than dancing.”

Donations to support Dot’s dancing mission can be made online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/dancercisewithdot or by texting DOT to 70085 to donate £5.

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