Support 4 Sight is delighted to have won the Rainbow Award at the Visionary annual awards ceremony 2021. Visionary is the national organisation that links local Sight Loss Charites across the UK and hosts these industry awards as part of its annual conference.

The award highlights the organisations and individuals who have been a Rainbow in the pandemic, sharing their knowledge, time and expertise with the Visionary network.  Support for Sight, together with 6 other partner charities won the Rainbow Award in recognition of its innovative and collaborative delivery of online social groups.

During the pandemic services such as community groups, information events and social activities for people with sight loss closed overnight. It was vital that sight loss charities did not lose contact with their core base of members. Phone contact went so far, but people also wanted entertaining, knowledge and stimulation in the dark times of isolation.  The biggest obstacle for success was having a full skillset that included technical, marketing, and networking skills.  Via a Visionary Zoom meeting, Support for Sight and Sight Advice South Lakes discussed the possibility of having joint events.

Using the principle of “if we build it, they will come” events were set up. Monthly speakers on mental health, specific eye conditions, assistive technology and inspirational talks such as the Blind Poet, David Steele, proved successful.

After a few months five more organisations joined and world class speakers from the UK, Ireland, Spain and USA were sourced.

This sharing of skills, presenters, workload and clients has enabled a series of quality public events smaller organisations could only have dreamed of if working alone.

We have now held over 60 meetings and had over a 1000 people attending. We envisage this growing in 2022 as more exciting ideas and speakers are engaged for our fortnightly events themed around “Living Well” and “Future Vision”.

These sessions are videoed and shared on YouTube.

The 7 winning charities of the Rainbow Award are: Support for Sight, Sight Advice South Lakes, Kirklees Visual Impairment Network, MySight Notts, Sight Airedale, Sight Concern Worcester and Sutton Vision.

For further information contact Zsuzsanna Szabo,  01799 588897