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.
Community Enterprise East London
Community Enterprise East London: The importance of having community leaders who can give blind and partially sighted people a voice within their local community is imperative in today’s society. It is for this reason we are supporting the feasibility study being run by Community Enterprise East London to train blind and partially sighted people from BAME backgrounds to become community leaders in East London. We are providing them with ongoing support and mentoring over one year with the aim of training young people to raise awareness of the issues that matter to blind and partially sighted people from the BAME Community. As an organisation, Community Enterprise East London, primarily works with BAME Women and is now looking to work within specific groups within the BAME Community to further breakdown the social barriers experienced within these groups.
Look UK: With visual impairment being a low incidence disability in children and young people, often young people who are visually impaired find themselves struggling in various aspects of their lives. That could be with making friends, getting support at school, getting out and about or self-confidence. Look UK’s mentoring project aims to address this problem by pairing together a young and older blind or partially sighted person based on experience, character and interests. Through this partnership, the young person is mentored and can discuss any concerns and get advice on various matters. The project also runs employment workshops for young people and workshops in schools for their peers to learn about visual impairment. Look UK was set up by parents of a visually impaired child as they felt that there was no support for parents. Over the years, Look has re-purposed itself to work with young people as well as their parents.
With this latest round of funding, Look, plans to help a community of 30 mentors (adults with sight loss who may or may not be in employment), and 40 mentees (younger peers living with sight loss) living in London through a structured mentoring and support programme that will be delivered online through a secure mentoring platform and face to face (covid depending) at local youth forums, meet-ups, facilitated chat groups, schools workshops and residential events.
Lunch Club for the Blind
A community service providing lunch and support to 24 service users. 16 of whom live in Hammersmith and the rest in Fulham.
Royal National Institute of Blind People: Raising awareness amongst employers in London re employing blind and partially sighted people. To prevent those who have newly lost their sight from losing their jobs.
SeeAbility: Ensuring that eye tests are accessible to adults with learning disabilities.
Sense UK: Pairing young blind and partially sighted people with additional difficulties with a buddy who can help them take part in activities.
Sight for Surrey
Sight for Surrey: For many people the experience of sight loss can have a lifelong impact. Rebuilding your life and connecting with the support services that can help is essential. Getting the right support at the point of diagnosis is critical, whether that be emotional support, accessing welfare benefits or accessing local services. We are supporting the work being done by Sight for Surrey targetting people living within the M25 area. Sight for Surrey has an excellent track record of supporting blind and partially sighted people and currently hold the contract for providing sensory support services on behalf of the local authority.
Sutton Vision: Providing outreach services to reach more blind and partially sighted people in the community.