About Us

Sandwell Visually Impaired (SVI) is a user led, non-profit, voluntary organisation and registered charity. From April 2018, following consultation with our members, we changed our charity structure to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). Our new constitution is available to download towards the end of this page.

Our members are all visually impaired themselves, or actively support people with a visual impairment. Over three quarters of our management committee (trustees) are visually impaired.

We want to make living in Sandwell better for people like us. The more members we have, the stronger our voice will be. In April 2004 there were only 12 of us, and we have gone from strength to strength – we now have over 500 members. This figure represents about 40% of registered visually impaired people in Sandwell, and we are growing all the time.

We want to make sure that we are treated fairly and equally by organisations like the council and the NHS, and that services meet our needs. These organisations have a legal duty to consult with people they provide services for and take our opinions and needs into account. SVI gives you an opportunity to express your views. Our members are regularly invited to take part in meetings and consultations about issues that affect visually impaired people and other people with disabilities. You can find out more about this in the section on our achievements.

We keep members and non members alike informed about our activities, and about the services that are available to people with a visual impairment in Sandwell.

We produce a newsletter that is distributed to everyone registered visually impaired in Sandwell. The newsletter is available in large print, audio and electronic formats and in braille on request. You can download an electronic version, or a sound file from this site.

We hold a yearly annual general meeting, and regular open meetings, with speakers invited on a variety of topics.

We also organise health and wellbeing, educational, leisure and social activities for the visually impaired community in Sandwell.

This website will enable you to keep up to date with the issues that affect you. It will be regularly updated with news and events.

You can also apply online to join SVI.

Why we changed our structure to become a CIO

In brief, becoming a CIO means that we are a 'corporate body'. This gives us the legal capacity to:

  • employ paid staff
  • deliver charitable services under contractual agreements
  • enter into commercial contracts in our own name
  • own freehold or leasehold land or other property

It also means that, unlike with our previous status, our trustees are not personally liable for what the charity does.

We received advice from professionals throughout the change process and involved our membership in the decision-making. A vote on the proposed change of governance took place at the Annual Forum and AGM on Monday 21 November 2016, with information available in advance of the event.

Further information

Charitable Incorporated Organisation documents

Download a copy of our new constitution as a Charitable Incoporated Organisation (CIO) - pdf document

Listen to our new CIO constitution as an audio playlist file.

If you would like to download all the tracks as individual MP3 files, then please visit this page.

If you would like the constitution in any other format, contact us via email to info@sandwellvisuallyimpaired.org

Other documents

Download a copy of our overview, which summarises the work of SVI.

Download a copy of our Business Plan Executive Summary.

Download a copy of our old constitution as a registered charity - pdf document

Download a copy of our old constitution as a registered charity - Word document

Annual Reports

Annual Report 2017- 2018 (Word document)

Annual Report 2017 - 2018 (pdf document)

Annual Report 2016-2017 (pdf document)

Annual Report 2015-2016 (pdf document)

Annual Report 2015-2016 (Word document)

Annual Report 2014-2015 (pdf document)

Annual Report 2014-2015 (Word document)

Annual Report 2013-2014 (Word document)

Annual Report 2013-2014 (pdf document)

Annual Report 2012-2013 (Word document)

If you wish to make a donation to SVI, please follow the link below

Donate with Justgiving