More than £300k in Lottery funding for Weston-super-Mare charity

Service users & team at Vision North Somerset have received a £336k Lottery funding grant. Picture:

Service users & team at Vision North Somerset have received a £336k Lottery funding grant. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A Weston-based charity helping visually impaired people has received a funding boost worth more than £330,000.

Vision North Somerset, in Nova Road, has been awarded £336,000 of funding from the National Lottery to introduce new services through a project called In Sight, In Touch.

The money will enable the charity to appoint three part-time members of staff and meet the costs of running the scheme for the next three years.

Vision North Somerset supports more than 1,500 visually impaired people across the area.

Chief executive Celia Henshall said: “We are thrilled to receive support from the National Lottery.

“Blind and partially sighted people themselves helped us to put the bid together by attending focus groups and responding to consultations and questionnaires.

“I’d like to thank them and the staff team, volunteers and partners who worked hard to produce such a great project.”

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There will be an outreach service so people who are not registered as blind but are experiencing significant sight loss and are unable to get to the resource centre, in Weston, can be seen at home.

The outreach worker will be able to demonstrate equipment, offer advice and help people to access the support they need.

In Sight, In Touch will also provide options for people to learn how to use smart phones and tablets as well as computers and assistive technology.

Connect ME is the fourth strand of the lottery project and focuses on bringing service users together so they can decide for themselves how they would like to keep in touch and offer support to each other.

This could be through digital means, social media or face-to-face meetings, and a facilitator will support people and help them to get started.

A charity spokesman added: “We are very impressed with the amount of input to the project from visually impaired people themselves, there is a great sense of satisfaction and achievement.

“There is obviously a lot of untapped potential among our service users which I hope will come to the fore as the projects develop.

“Financially, this funding is a huge boost, a big well done to everyone involved.”

Vision North Somerset will hold an open day to launch the project on June 12.