Blind and visually impaired people in Sandwell have been given a boost from Big Lotteries Awards for All. SVI has been awarded a grant to expand our support for members who are isolating or finding it difficult to cope during the pandemic.
Since lockdown began, we have contacted all our members to identify their needs. We have organised shopping, helped collect prescriptions, made befriending calls and set up support such as guide dog walking. We have recruited 15 new volunteers to help out with these activities.
With 20 further volunteers signed up to read and contribute to the weekly Sandwell Talking News (STN), we are ensuring that people with sight loss also have access to relevant, local, up to date information. The STN now regularly includes a cheerful and informative audio magazine section too, with features such as audio-described walks, exercise ideas, music and poetry.
SVI Development Worker Sandra said: “A friendly voice at the end of the phone and an offer of practical support can make a huge difference to someone struggling to manage on their own. For someone who is shielding it’s the next best thing to having a visitor popping round. The Awards for All grant will help us to extend what we do and support more people. We can also continue to fund our Enablement Worker, who will follow up on any practical issues arising from the calls.”
Tony Averis, SVI Chair said: “We are very grateful to Awards for All for giving us this money to build on this important work.”
If you or someone you know are visually impaired and could benefit from this support, please contact us. Although our office hours are reduced, we will always return your calls as soon as we can if you leave a message on our ansaphone for us.