The Vision Foundation, London’s sight loss charity, has today announced the roll-out of more than £260,000 in grants across London. There are seven grants spanning £9,500 to £50,000 going to local projects, including a £50,000 grant to SeeAbility for a vital advocacy programme.

These range from an innovative podcast production project aiming to give visually impaired people the confidence, skills and experience for a career in broadcasting, to a targeted employment programme for young blind and partially sighted people to help them secure meaningful full time paid work.

Projects were assessed by the Vision Foundation’s Grants and Impact Advisory Committee made up of members of London’s visually impaired community. Applications were evaluated against set criteria including the level of impact on the lives of people living with or facing sight loss, the measurable need for the project, and the ongoing or wider benefit beyond the end of the grant. 

Olivia Curno, Vision Foundation Chief Executive said:

This exciting round of Vision Foundation grants will enable seven unique projects which will enhance the lives of blind and partially sighted people across the capital. The Vision Foundation supports projects that reflect the real issues impacting blind and partially sighted people. We’re so grateful for the hard work and commitment of passionate community champions who we know will unlock the opportunity this funding brings.

Matt Broom, SeeAbility’s Strategic Lead for Eye Care and Vision said:

Vision Foundation’s grant will enable us to influence the provision of essential eye care support to thousands of people with learning disabilities who live in the capital. This vital, accessible, support will prevent avoidable sight loss among a group that is 10 times more likely to experience this than other people.

Stephen Kill, SeeAbility’s National Manager for Eye Care and Vision said: 

We’re excited that the generous grant from the Vision Foundation will enable us to recruit a co-ordinator and a person with lived experience into our team to influence commissioners. We want to ensure Londoners with learning disabilities, particularly those from BAME backgrounds, get reasonably adjusted, accessible eye care to prevent avoidable sight loss.

Darren Barker, Vision Foundation Trustee and Chair of the Grants and Impact Advisory Committee said:

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the visually impaired community over the past year and we believe each of the innovative projects we have chosen has the potential to be a catalyst for wider change. The Vision Foundation plays a critical role as a kick-starter for initiatives that wouldn’t get support elsewhere.