The Vision Foundation has maintained ongoing relationships with a number of sight loss organisation in London for many years. Since 1921 we have successfully raised funds to support the work of charities engaged in meeting the everchanging needs of blind and partially sighted people. Without these funds raised and distributed by the Vision Foundation (formerly Greater London Fund for the Blind), many essential services would be lost or reduced significantly at a time of growing need.
Over the years funding has been awarded to cover core costs and provide sutainability for community based services. In March 2020 a change in the Vision Foundation’s constitution dissolved these long-standing partnerships in favour of a dedicated grant-giving model. The organisations listed below have continued to receive funds through 2020 to support their ongoing projetcs and activities.
BlindAid, formerly known as the Metropolitan Society for the Blind, is one of London’s oldest sight loss charities. The charity provides essential services across the 12 inner London Boroughs and the City of London. BlindAid has an exceptional team of friendly and understanding Home Visitors that make regular visits to over 500 local residents.
CLARITY – Employment for Blind People
Since 1854, CLARITY has challenged the reluctance to employ blind and disabled people in meaningful industries. Around sixty-five registered blind and disabled people currently work in CLARITY’s London factory to produce high quality personal care and cleaning products.
CLARITY insists that its success is more reliant upon product sales than donations. – It’s an attitude which fosters a positive work ethic and rebukes discrimination.
The charity provides accommodation for current and past employees, as well as welfare and support services. its main focus is running a personal development programme. The initiative, which includes gaining NVQs and completing workplace training, equips employees with the confidence and skills needed to either progress within CLARITY or into open industry.
The success of personal development programme has led to a number of employees moving into telesales. With continued GLFB funding and business prosperity, the charity hopes that this number will increase over the next few years.
Before you start shopping, take a moment to hear from Joanna Lumley on why she supports CLARITY and how much of a difference you can make by supporting them through your next purchase.
CLARITY – Employment for Blind People
Unit 7, Highams Park Industrial Estate
Tel: 020 3078 8950
You can also follow them on Twitter.
Croydon Vision has been providing services for the blind and partially sighted people in the local area since 1923.
The charity works towards ensuring that people with sight loss are supported both practically and emotionally.
To this end, the charity provides a wide range of services including a weekly Information Group and the production of a Talking Newspaper which is available for streaming on their website.
Other services include:
- Mobility training – helping people to maintain their independence when out and about
- Braille and Moon tuition
- Touch-typing tuition
- Practical help with everyday living, such as cooking skills.
With funding from GLFB – made possible through donations from our supporters, the charity can continue to play a significant role within Croydon’s sight loss community.
72-74 Wellesley Road
Tel: 020 8688 2486 (24 hour answer phone)
Kingston upon Thames Association for the Blind
Established more than thirty years ago, Kingston upon Thames Association for the Blind (K.A.B) works closely with the local authority and support groups to provide a vital service to visually impaired residents in the Kingston borough.
With the money it receives from the GLFB, the Association is able to fund grants, support an Eye Buddy scheme and run a Talking Newspaper. It also organises a variety of trips and runs a range of blind clubs (listed below).
The latest edition of their newsletter, Eye Opener, is now available – click here.
To learn more about K.A.B from the viewpoint of a service user, click here.
K.A.B has an established network of Volunteers who work across the organisation. There are a range of volunteering opportunities including Eye Buddy volunteers, drivers for the various blind clubs and office administrators. Registering your interest is straight-forward. Just fill in their contact form which is available on their website and a member of their volunteer team will be in touch.
Surbiton – Contact – Mike Bibby on 07443 643716
New Malden – Contact – David Robson on 07881 348360
Social Eyes – Contact – Gill Smith 020 8605 0060
Kingston Macular Disease Support Group – Contact David Broughton – 07786
Kingston Upon Thames Association for the Blind
2A Sussex Road
Tel: 020 8605 0060
MertonVision operates a variety of services based around the maxims of ‘independence’ and ‘local’.
The charity’s aim is to support and empower people with a visual impairment, from their diagnosis of permanent sight loss through the entire rehabilitative process, in whatever form is appropriate for them. This includes children, adults, people with dual sensory loss and people with additional difficulties.
In addition to offering extensive home services, the charity also boasts a fantastic central base. At the Guardian Centre in Merton there is a benefits advice and support service, a resource centre, and there are activities five days a week.
Activities range from a lunch club to arts and crafts workshops, providing local visually impaired people with a much-needed – local – support network.
67 Clarendon Road
Tel: 020 8540 5446
Fax: 020 8544 0059
Middlesex Association for the Blind
With 16 professional staff and over 300 trained volunteers, Middlesex Association for the Blind (MAB) provides services to visually impaired and deaf-blind people across nine boroughs.
There are estimated to be over 80,000 people with a visual impairment living in the catchment area served by MAB.
The charity’s services include Early Intervention Officers, Resources Centres and MidSight.
Working alongside Consultant Ophthalmologists, MidSight provides a wealth of information and advice in hospitals for patients attending eye clinics. In some hospitals the MidSight service includes demonstrations of special equipment including daily living aids.
MAB’s four Resource Centres are based in Harrow, Enfield, Ealing and Richmond. Each centre is a tightly run ship offering a wide range of support services and groups.
In the Enfield centre, for example, services include a qualified instructor who takes seated keep fit sessions. Appointments are not necessary and a Rehabilitation Officer is always in attendance.
MAB also runs an excellent Telephone Helpline, handling over 2000 queries. The service is run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Middlesex Association for the Blind
Tel: 020 8423 5141
SeeAbility, the operating name of The Royal School for the Blind, is a specialist charity that enriches the lives of people who have sight loss as well as a diverse range of multiple needs including autism, brain injury, cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Having a visual impairment and other disabilities can make it harder to learn certain daily living skills. The challenges faced vary from person to person. They may include aspects such as communication, personal care and feeding oneself – all of which are central elements to independent living.
The ethos of ‘seeing beyond disability’ underpins every aspect of the charity’s work. Specialist tailored accommodation and experienced staff teams provide therapeutic input and support that enables each individual to develop and maintain their skills in order to live as independently as possible.
Support from the GLFB has enabled SeeAbility to fund a diverse range of services and initiatives including speech and language therapy and the ‘Children in focus’ campaign.
To get a sense of just how SeeAbility’s support changes people’s lives, take a moment to watch this video.
If you would like to know more about SeeAbility’s work and its impact on the lives of people like Anne please click here.
Their website also includes an easy read library providing helpful advice and information on sight loss and eye care.
41 East Street
Tel: 01372 755 000
Sight for Surrey
Sight for Surrey is an extremely reputable organization which attempts to ensure that visually impaired people throughout Surrey live fuller and more independent lives.
Established in 1922 to support people blinded in World War 1, the charity has developed and expanded to be one the best-stocked resource centres in the country with a commendable record of supporting children and adolescents.
To aid the spatial and environmental awareness of children with visual impairments, Sight for Surrey provides Orientation and Mobility training. It organizes recreation for children such as horse riding and theatre trips.
It works in close partnership with the Surrey County Council Physical and Sensory Support Service – as well as social services – to identify school leavers with visual impairments and prepare them for the transition into further education or employment.
The charity also supports adults and employs professional rehabilitation officers. Above all, however, Sight for Surrey is intent on emphasizing community. It will help anyone with an eye condition in Surrey, registered blind or not.
If you or your business want to get involved, please contact Lex Daniel in the fundraising department on 01372 377 701 to chat things over. Otherwise, you may wish to get involved in some of their upcoming challenge events. Please get in touch today!
Sight for Surrey
Telephone: 01372 377 701
Fax: 01372 360 767
Minicom: 01372 361 517
SMS text: 07500 926834
Established in 1965, Sutton Vision is an independent charity which provides social and practical activities and services for visually impaired people. Its core funding comes from the Greater London Fund for the Blind.
Most important services on offer include counselling, information on benefits, a low vision clinic, and a local point for British Wireless for the Blind. A vast array of equipment is available at their resource centre, such as up-to-date low vision technology and large button telephones.
Sutton Vision is very keen on organizing social events and outings. It schedules home visits, arranges one-to-one and communal outings; and runs activity groups.
For the latest news on Sutton Vision and details of current and upcoming events click here for the current edition of Contact Newsletter.
3 Robin Hood Lane
T 020 8409 7166