Loneliness and Isolation – Vision Foundation

Loneliness and Isolation

People who are blind and vision impaired are three times more likely to experience loneliness and isolation.

An elderly man looks away from the camera in a grey shirt and khaki coloured vest. The text reads Outside: Insights into loneliness and isolation for blind and vision impaired people

In April 2024 we released a report revealing the high levels of loneliness and isolation experienced by blind and vision impaired people. To directly tackle this issue we are funding projects around the country.

Read Outside report in full >

This report identifies areas where we can and will invest in change. We identify the need for:

Emotional support

A more holistic, consistent approach to emotional support at the point of diagnosis.

Opportunities for connection

Renewed efforts to ensure that vision impaired people can connect with others and have access to tools and resources to gain confidence and mitigate the risks of internalising real and perceived stigma about what it means to be vision impaired.

Preparation for national events

A better appreciation of how life events, including national events like pandemics and lockdowns, might be made harder for someone with vision loss.


Creative, flexible and practical ways for vision impaired people to get out and about, even whilst real external and internal barriers exist.

Training and guidance

New and sustainable solutions that make it easier for people to build confidence, resilience and social and practical skills for handling the everyday difficulties of blindness or vision impairment, including digital skills.

Data capture

More granular data that specifically focuses on blind and vision impaired people, along with a deeper understanding of the ways that different identities and aspects of intersectionality impact how blind and vision impaired people experience loneliness and isolation.

Beacon Centre and Wolves Foundation

The joint project by the Wolves Foundation and the Beacon Centre for the Blind will combat loneliness and isolation among blind and partially sighted people. Through an inclusive multi-sports programme at iconic city venues like the Molineux, participants can engage with peers, fostering social connections.

Wolves Foundation staff will lead audio-based activity sessions, empowering individuals to stay active and connected with their community at home, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.


BlindAid is expanding and continuing the Share London project which offers blind and visually impaired people the opportunity to access the vibrant social opportunities London has to offer with a local volunteer. We currently have 250 volunteers matched to beneficiaries within the 12 inner London boroughs.

Camden Disability Action

Camden Disability Action: Funding the training of five project leaders to transform the Camden Disability Action Centre in a community connectiveness hub, attracting up to 300 members.

The leaders will run projects in the Greenwood Centre, including the music and pod cast room, art room and conference room, garden and IT digital hub and café to run projects they are passionate about to reach the sight loss  community to overcome loneliness and isolation.


Extant will be delivering three of their pioneering programmes on a national scale: No Dramas, Extant Theatre Club and Unseen Live.

All these programmes aim to reduce isolation and build, joyous new communities that improve the social lives of vision impaired communities.

Fight Against Blindness

Psychological support for children and young people with vision loss.


An inclusive hub in Greater Manchester and Merseyside, creating accessible social spaces for vision impaired people.

Intergenerational Music Making

Intergenerational Music Making: The core purpose of our project is to create a vibrant and inclusive intergenerational experience in Islington, Westminster, Hackney, Southwark, and Tower Hamlets.

Through five distinct intergenerational initiatives, each spanning 10 weeks, we aim to address loneliness and isolation among blind and partially sighted individuals.

These projects will take place in community centres, care homes, sheltered accommodations, and church halls, fostering meaningful connections between generations, promoting social engagement, and ultimately enhancing the wellbeing and quality of life for our beneficiaries in these London boroughs.

Look UK

Look UK: This funding will support the recruitment of a London Mentor scheme officer, who will be responsible for leading the London branch of Look’s highly successful young person’s mentoring programme.

Young VI people in different stages of education are matched with appropriate mentors with lived experience, who offer advice, support, and sometimes training opportunities and workshops.

Metro Sports and Social Club

Metro Sports and Social Club (Metro Blind Sport): Metro will create and implement an activity programme for VI people in London to fight loneliness and isolation.

The programme will revolve around a calendar of 12 low intensity, high impact activities. We will target our less active members who are less suited to competitive sport.


MACS is the UK’s only charity specifically supporting people born with Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia or Coloboma.

The organisation is launching MACSConnect, a transformative project linking families affected by rare MACS conditions to build resilient peer support networks and combat isolation through shared experiences.

Middlesex Association for the Blind

Our vision is that every person with a visual impairment in the boroughs in which we operate is as independent as possible, as socially integrated as possible and experiences optimal mental wellbeing.

Our mission is to support clients to be independent, socially integrated and to experience good mental wellbeing, through a wide range of services ranging from a face to face Home Visiting, home based Rapid Response Counselling, an Employment Service and IT training.

MyVision Oxfordshire

Research carried out by Natural England and Oxfordshire County Council in 2023 highlighted several barriers for visually impaired people to access green and blue spaces (parks, forests, etc).

Recommendations to address these barriers include Accessible information, transportation and infrastructure, physical activities, facilities, safety measures and organised activities.

MyVision Oxfordshire will be focusing on the final recommendation of organising specialist walking groups with a view to offering support and guidance within these groups related to the other recommendations. The key outcomes are physical and mental health, reduced isolation and a connectivity with nature and the community.

Sutton Vision

Sutton VisionThe project will reduce isolation and loneliness by increasing social connection for blind and partially sighted people through one to one befriending (telephone and community based) social / interest and peer support groups by utilising the skills of staff and volunteers with lived experience of visual impairment.

The Royal Society for Blind Children

The Royal Society for Blind Children: The project will reduce loneliness and isolation affecting blind and partially sighted children and young people (aged 8 – 25 years) living, working in or visiting London by focusing on the following:

  • Activities building connections and friendships
  • Raising awareness of sight loss and RSBC services available in London
  • Influencing change in London through RSBC’s Youth Forum

Vision of Adventure

Our vision is a world where everyone has equal access to adventure. Our mission is to enable visually impaired adults to have the same opportunities to take part in adventurous outdoor activities as sighted people.

We deliver short residential courses in adventurous activities. The courses, based in the Lake District, are specifically for visually impaired adults, supported by specialist instructors and a team of trained, volunteer sighted guides. Activities include caving, canoeing, rock climbing, open water swimming, tandem cycling, triathlon, and hill walking.

Wales Council for the Blind

The organisation is providing the tools for optometrists throughout Wales to determine if their Low Vision Service patients (c. 10,000 per year) are at risk of social isolation or loneliness.

The tools will be a) a literature review/research phase coupled with b) an online social prescribing portal, customised to the patient’s particular circumstances.

By providing timely interventions in the form of befriending, social activities, peer group support, relevant organisations, and information about ways to alleviate loneliness and isolation, the patient would be at a reduced risk of moving towards depression and requiring mental health services.

Walsall Society for the Blind

To reduce social isolation and increase the confidence of blind and visually impaired adults across the 12 inner London boroughs who would like to leave their homes to enjoy their local community, social events and activities, but lack the confidence and or ability to do this independently.

We achieve this by carefully matching beneficiaries with trained, local volunteers that can support them to leave their homes, as well as generating new social connections between each beneficiary/volunteer pairing.: Our project will provide life changing mental health support to people with sight loss in Walsall.

It has already made a huge difference to the lives of over 650 isolated and vulnerable people with sight loss in Walsall. It has helped people to rebuild their lives; improving their general health and wellbeing by reducing isolation through regular calls, visits and interventions. Through bespoke advocacy, assistance and befriending, our sight loss community are developing the skills and confidence they need to regain independence, while being supported to overcome challenges and engage in new activities to improve their health and wellbeing.