Our National Partner Award is an opportunity to showcase the Visionary National Partners who have demonstrated a commitment to making a difference to blind and partially sighted people locally. It may be an example of a national or more locally focused campaign, project or initiative that has had a positive impact on the lives of blind and partially sighted people, facilitated additional support or has made a significant difference to a local organisation.
The nominations are:
British Blind Sport
In a recent survey (Anglia Ruskin University) of 100 UK adults who had sight loss it was found that 75 % of people would increase their physical activity if they were advised to by a low vision rehabilitation specialist. In response to this feedback, British Blind Sport (BBS), launched a guide for Vision Rehabilitation Workers who support blind and partially sighted adults through physical activity. The resource was created in collaboration with British Blind Sport, Rehabilitation Workers Professional Network, Visionary, Metro Blind Sport, The Wilberforce Trust and North-East Sensory Services.
We at BBS believe that physical activity has the potential to improve people’s lives, and recognise that vision rehabilitation services play an important role in ensuring the wellbeing of blind and partially sighted people. This guide has assisted professionals in encouraging people with visual impairments to increase their physical activity and develop skills that will enable them to remain as independent as possible.
This guide would not have been made possible without the insight, knowledge and expertise from the combined partners who have fed into the guide along the way. Not only this, we have had involvement direct from rehabilitation works to ensure the resource is of demand and need and will be utilised directly with ROVIs and their clients.
Therefore, please vote us for the Visionary National Partner Award so we can further promote our collaborative approach to our Rehabilitation Workers Guidance!
Retina UK is committed to ensuring we make the biggest difference we can for people living with inherited sight loss conditions. It is vital we understand the real-life experiences, challenges and expectations of families affected by these conditions. To gain this understanding, we introduced a three-yearly tracking survey in 2019. The impact of this initiative over the past three years has been significant.
This insight and evidence was used to introduce new initiatives to directly meet the changing needs of our community and to measure the impact of these. For example:
Our 2019 survey evidenced a lack of understanding of genetic counselling and testing and a need for more information. We took action to change this, and in April 2021 launched our innovative new resource, Unlock Genetics (link opens new window)
92% of respondents to our 2019 Sight Loss Survey said they had experienced negative emotional or psychological impacts. We took action to change this and in July 2022 launched Discover Wellbeing (link opens new window), which comprises three free-to-access online courses:
- Early stages – understand your feelings of apprehension and take positive practical steps to prepare for the future.
- Living with change – understand your feelings of loss, adapt to a reduction in sight and take practical steps to live a positive life today.
- Supporting others – learn practical skills and access tools to use to look after yourself whilst learning how to support others. This is for family members and professionals (CPD accredited).
The modules can be completed alone, or with the support of a newly-trained wellbeing volunteer who lives with inherited sight loss.
Thomas Pocklington Trust
Collaborative working, for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people, is central to our ethos since no one organisation can resolve all the challenges blind and partially sighted people may face.
Examples of our partnership work include providing support to Visionary and other close partners, being an active member of the VI Charity Sector Partnership, championing the role of lived experience of sight loss in all aspects of work across the sector and the delivery of our grants programme. As well as awarding funding, we invite feedback from applicants on how we can support them further.
We work with local and national partners across the country in all our service delivery and campaigning. Our expanding network of Sight Loss Councils are engaging Visionary members in events and campaigns. The Get Set Progress internship programme has further expanded from the five pilot sight loss charities to an additional twenty internship opportunities. And our Student Support Service works closely with partner organisations to ensure children and young people receive the best education through school, college and into university.
We want to build, strengthen and expand the resilience and capacity of the sight loss sector as a whole for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people.