Published 22 June 2016
Volunteer drivers Alan Mitchell, Martin Wilson and Roger Bowler with Sight Support Derbyshire Chief Executive Claire Winfield
Derbyshire’s only locally-based sight loss charity is hitting the road with support and advice, thanks to £15,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Sight Support Derbyshire has won the funding for its mobile ‘pop-up’ resource service, which will travel to libraries, supermarkets, GP surgeries and other community spaces offering advice on services and specialist equipment to blind and visually impaired people.
The money from the lottery’s Postcode Community Trust has enabled the charity to replace its van, which was becoming old and too expensive to run, with a newer, more reliable vehicle.
It is also funding the running costs of the vehicle, and the costs of recruiting, training and supporting at least four volunteers to help run the service.
Postcode Community Trust is a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. A minimum of 30% goes directly to charities and players have raised £124.1 million to date for good causes across Great Britain and internationally.
Claire Winfield, Chief Executive of Sight Support Derbyshire, said: “A diagnosis of sight loss can leave someone feeling uncertain and isolated. Our ‘pop-up’ mobile service is an effective way of reaching people in their own communities
“We’re extremely grateful for this funding as it will enable us to make contact with more people, make sure they have the information and advice they need, and build relationships with other community organisations.”
Martin Wilson, one of the MRC van volunteers and chair of the charity’s trustees, added: “No day is the same when you’re travelling to different areas of the county and meeting new people. It’s very rewarding to know that you’re making a difference to someone’s quality of life and I would urge anyone interested in volunteering for this service to contact Sight Support Derbyshire. The more of us there are, the more people we can reach.”