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Our new fund is now live!

The Vision Fund

Our new fund aims to address the most pressing issues affecting blind and partially sighted people in London today. Its designed to fund innovative projects that are changing lives in our communities.

The Vision Foundation exists to improve the opportunities, well-being and inclusion for blind and partially sighted people across London. We want to ensure London is open and welcoming to the visually impaired community across employment, and social and cultural spaces. We also want to ensure that those at greatest risk of sight loss have the information and access they need to look after their eye health. And we are committed to ensuring blind and partially sighted people further marginalised through homelessness, poverty or domestic violence are reached. Above all, we emphasise what people can do, rather than what they can’t.

We support organisations delivering services directly to blind and partially sighted people across London, and organisations that are expert in their fields but may not be reaching blind and partially sighted people. We are looking for projects which can demonstrate a track record of success, or ideas that need an innovative early funder to give them a chance.

We listen, collaborate and fund so that positive things can happen.

 

Our Grants

Small grants – up to £5,000 per year

Medium grants – between £5,000 and £20,000 over 1-2 years

Large grants – between £20,000 and £50,000 over 1-2 years

 

Priority areas

We have three funding priorities that describe the work we support and how we want to bring about change for London’s blind and partially sighted population.

Our application process asks you to identify which priority (or priorities) your work meets. All the grants we make must meet at least one of our priorities. Applications will be assessed on the quality of the work rather than the number of priority areas they are working towards.

1. Opening London up

Everyone living, working or visiting London should have access to the rich cultural, economic and social opportunities of our city. In reality, only a quarter of blind and partially sighted working-age Londoners are working. Alongside poor employment, blind and partially sighted people tell us that they face barriers in taking part in physical activity, navigating city streets and engaging in social activities – many things sighted people might take for granted.

To ensure we have the biggest impact, we are interested in projects which:

  • Educate and influence employers
  • Empower individuals through education and building confidence, networks and skills
  • Ensure sports, arts, social and cultural spaces are accessible
  • Improve public transport and public safety
  • Showcase and celebrate excellence

2. Empowering those at-risk

Within the visually impaired community there are certain groups who can face a “double disadvantage”. When facing sight loss, those from the BAME community, older people, women, those living on a low income and those with other disabilities are at risk of experiencing poorer outcomes. In addition, there are some consequences of sight loss that are not supported well or at all, such as the heightened risk of domestic violence, poverty or poor mental health.

To ensure we have the biggest impact, we are interested in projects which:

  • Identify and advocate with those particularly marginalised.
  • Identify the moments when people face the greatest risk of spiralling outcomes, including bereavement, the point of diagnosis or upon losing a job.
  • Sight loss services focused on at-risk communities.
  • Ensuring that specialist services for the general population are fully accessible and are reaching blind and partially sighted people.

3. Preventing avoidable blindness

200,000 people are living with sight loss in the capital and just under 700,000 (1 in 12 adults) are living with a sight threatening condition. Unless there are bold interventions, these figures are set to increase significantly by 2030. An estimated 50% of sight loss is avoidable, but not currently avoided.  Public awareness and a stretched NHS are major contributors to these poor outcomes. The NHS recommends an eye test every two years, but over a third of people are put off eye tests due to concerns about cost and two in three parents have never taken their child for a test. To ensure we have the biggest impact, we are interested in projects which:

  • Raise public awareness about the importance of sight tests, particularly among at risk communities.
  • Improve access to sight tests including adapted tests and community- based testing.

Find out more about our strategic aims on our strategy page.

We have worked hard to develop a Theory of Change to set out the change we want to see in society and the methods we will take to achieve this. The diagram and narrative documents below lay out our approach.

Vision Foundation Theory of Change flow chart diagram

 

Download our Theory of Change diagram


Vision Foundation Theory of Change Plain Text 2019

Read the accessible plain text version of our Vision Foundation Theory of Change


Vision Foundation – Theory of Change Narrative2019

Read the full narrative version of our Vision Foundation Theory of Change


We do not have a dedicated application form for Fund applicants. Please read the guidance below to learn more about how to apply.

Download the Vision Fund application guidance

If you have questions about drafting your project proposal, please contact Khafsa Ghulam (Grants and Partnerships Officer)  kghulam@visionfoundation.org.uk with the words “Vision Fund” in your subject line.  All projects must support blind and partially sighted people who live, work, study or are visiting London.

Deadline for applications is January 9th 2020.