Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Vision North Somerset continues to offer support, information and advice, technology training, emotional support and socials. This is currently over the phone, online and doorstep equipment delivery and instruction.

We will resume face to face support as soon as Government Guidelines allow. Please contact us for help, advice, or information regarding sight loss and hearing loss matters.

Everyone needs to assess and manage the risks of COVID-19. As an employer, we have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others, including volunteers, from risk to their health and safety. We have thought about the risks they face and will do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them, recognising that you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19.

In assessing risk, we have also had particular regard as to whether people are especially vulnerable to COVID-19.

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Click here for tips on social distancing with a visual impairment.

Repair Work Started at Neva Road!

Rank Foundation
The Rank Foundation: a pebble in the pond.

Work has started on essential repairs at our Resource Centre in Weston thanks to a donation from the Rank Foundation and the generosity of the local people who use our services.

We still need to raise a further £4,000 – but at least our roof is fixed and we have new radiators so we can provide a warm and dry environment for our visitors. Grateful thanks to all who have donated.

Roof Repair Work
Photo of our damaged roof tiles, which are undergoing repair.

Damp-Proofing the Cellar
Photo of 3 workers damp-proofing the cellar dressed in biohazard protection clothing.

Trained to Deliver!

Did you know that a blind person can navigate an unfamiliar area independently using a special app on their iPhone?

“I can’t believe I have gained enough confidence to go shopping on my own – just using my phone to get me to the right shop – it’s changed my life”

Hanna, who is registered blind, goes on to say:

“This technology has helped me so much; I now want to volunteer and teach other people how to use it.”

Local charity Vision North Somerset has been awarded over £9,000 by the National Lottery Awards for All fund to ensure volunteers and staff are trained to deliver a range of opportunities for blind and partially sighted people in North Somerset.

Chief Executive Nina Farr said:

“Knowledgeable staff and volunteers don’t just happen; we have to invest in their training and support to enable them to deliver a high quality service that makes a difference to people who are struggling with significant sight loss.”

“We are grateful to the National Lottery and the people that play every week who have made our Trained to Deliver project possible”.

Top of the training list is information about social media and the options this provides for reducing isolation and loneliness.

The charity also plans to provide a professional functional low vision service to help people to make the most of their sight with magnifiers and good lighting.

Connect Me – Food for Thought

What activities do you enjoy? Food for Thought is a lunch workshop organised by our new Connect Me worker, Polly Price, to discuss just that.

This is a chance to meet other people with sight loss, find out what opportunities are available, and give your thoughts on what activities you’d like to do.

To find out more and book your place, take a look at our flyer:

Lottery Celebration

Celebration is in the air on June 12th when Vision North Somerset launch a fantastic new project funded by the National Lottery.

People with sight loss, their family and carers are invited to come along to the charity’s centre in Neva Road to see what’s on offer.

The In Sight in Touch project received an amazing £336,000 from the National Lottery and will introduce some innovative ideas put forward by blind and partially sighted people themselves.

The Celebration and Open Day is an opportunity for everyone to come along, find out what we have planned and tell us their own ideas too.

Other exhibitors will also be present for the event including HumanWare assistive technology, Dolphin Computers, Wiltshire Farm Foods and others.

The charity is also celebrating volunteers week and has invited all of the organisation’s 80 volunteers to share in the celebrations. Voluntary Services Co-ordinator Michele Blake said: “Our volunteers are a great team and highly valued. If anyone would like to consider joining us we’d be happy to see them at the Open Day and have a chat about volunteering opportunities.”

The event takes place from 11am – 3pm on 12th June at Vision North Somerset, 3 Neva Road, Weston super Mare.

A New Chief Executive

Vision North Somerset has appointed internal candidate Nina Farr to the position of Chief Executive. Nina will take up the post on 1st October.

The appointment leaves a vacancy in the post of qualified Rehabilitation Officer for visually impaired people. The organisation will begin the recruitment process for this post in June with a start date of 16th September.

For further details, contact Celia Henshall via:

Charity Accounts Training with Albert Goodman (via Vision)

  • Do you struggle to understand your organisation’s accounts?
  • Can you read the balance sheet?
  • Can you explain your accounts to funding bodies?

Vision North Somerset are working with Albert Goodman, Charity Accountants to present a seminar to help staff and trustees gain a better understanding of their accounts in a down to earth and practical manner.

Take a look at the accompanying course outline and see if it meets the needs of your staff and trustees. It will certainly be a help to ours.

Vision are happy to host the course, so there will be no venue charge. To cover the costs we need to charge £60 per person (ourselves included) and we need to attract 10 attendees.

The course will take place on Tuesday 16th October 1.30pm for coffee and the course will start promptly at 2.00pm.

To reserve your place please complete the booking form and return by email or post by 28th September. The course fee must be included with your booking to secure your place, but is fully refundable if the course does not run due to lack of support.

Compared to other finance courses we have considered, this is a cost effective option and we hope there is sufficient take up from our voluntary sector colleagues to make it viable.

Thanks for your interest!

Celia Henshall, CEO, Vision North Somerset.