Sponsored by Guide Dogs UK
The Share Award offers an opportunity to recognise members across the Visionary Network who have supported and encouraged other members to future proof their organisations through sharing their knowledge, time, expertise and energy.
Through this award, we want to recognise this and invite nominations from or for member organisations who have been open and generous; sharing knowledge, challenges, their staff, and practical information and examples of what has worked for them.
The nominees are:
Outlookers: Sharing Techxpertise
Outlookers are being nominated for their commitment to the Visionary network and improving the lives of blind and partially sighted people through the use of technology.
Since 2020, Mark Owen and David Quarmby from Outlookers have hosted the Visionary monthly Tech Forum, to the benefit of 120 staff and volunteers across Visionary members and partners. They have also contributed to projects sparked from discussions at Tech Forum, such as the current development of a recommended apps list.
Outlookers sit on the VI Sector Partnership Access to Technology workstream, and have provided time and expertise to a number of projects.Most notably they have been instrumental in a ‘Tech for Rehab’ project over the last 12 months, which has been looking at upskilling rehabilitation professionals around technology tools for supporting blind and partially sighted people. A trial workshop in December 2020 ran by Outlookers saw an astounding 130 rehab workers register their interest, with 95% of attendees saying that they would make a change, or implement something they had learnt in their day to day work. Given 100% of attendees responded that they would be interested in further training around tools and technology, the project has expanded, with Outlookers running sessions in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Worker’s Professional Network.
Take on 250: Fundraising Working Group
The Take on 250 Working group shared time, energy and resources to develop the first ever unified sight loss sector fundraising initiative in 2021. The group started this process from scratch – no mean feat! The final initiative was launched in November 2021 with mixed success – the group worked together to understand what could be improved – gathering feedback about what worked and what didn’t, analysing different approaches and listening to member suggestions.
The group used this data to inform the approach for year 2. The group worked hard to produce and disseminate resources in plenty of time, they worked together to address issues identified in the first year. This project is a great example of how Visionary members can come together to produce something that can benefit everyone. Members of the working group shared fundraising ideas, marketing materials, media templates, expertise, skills and knowledge to ensure that this year more members will be positioned to generate more income.
There are already 45 members signed up ready for the launch in January 2023. This is a fantastic achievement which could benefit the whole membership.
Visibility Scotland: Sharing Best Practice in Accessibility
We are nominating Visibility Scotland for the Share aware for sharing their knowledge of making websites more accessible for the visually impaired. Berkshire Vision have been working on our website to make a few changes to ensure it is working for both our visually impaired members and our supporters.
Seeking best practice we got in touch with Visionary and then via the social media forum started talking to Natasha. Natasha took time out of her day to virtually meet with me and share useful insight and information on how they had recently developed their website. This helped shape changes we have made and plan to make to our website. Natasha has also contributed a great deal to the Visionary social media forum.
Vision Support Barrow and District, West Cumbria Society for the Blind, Eden Sight Support, Carlisle Sight Support and Sight Advice South Lakes: Collaborative Funding and Regional Activity
A partnership of 5 Cumbrian sight loss charities have collaborated to secure lottery funding to deliver services across the region. The charities involved shared ideas, knowledge information and resources. This enabled the charities involved to develop services to meet identified outcomes and support more blind and partially sighted people across the region. The organisations involved are now in an excellent position to secure funding for future service delivery. Relationships between the charities are very positive, they visit each other and are able contact each other for support at any time. This in turn has resulted in improved support for visually impaired people across Cumbria. All 5 charities are stronger as a result of sharing!