Wakefield District Sight Aid celebrates after receiving £424K of National Lottery funding to support people living with sight loss across the Wakefield District

Written by Hayley

The group, based in central Wakefield, will use the money to support its core costs and reach more people living with sight loss across the District.

Local community group, Wakefield District Sight Aid, is today celebrating after being awarded almost £424,000 in National Lottery funding to support its work with blind and partially sighted people.

Wakefield District Sight Aid has been running since 1869 and is staffed by 3 part-time staff and 29 volunteers. Historically there were two charities supporting blind and partially sighted people in Wakefield, one within the City of Wakefield and one covering the wider district. The two organisations came together, and the charity has been known as Wakefield District Sight Aid since 2010.

The group now runs outreach coffee mornings twice a month at The Ridings shopping centre and The Cluntergate Centre in Horbury, an evening social group at Calder & Hops on Northgate, and a variety of other services including a home visiting service, Living Well With Sight Loss courses, befriending, and emotional support. Its services are designed to help anyone living with sight impairment to improve their confidence and independence, reduce social isolation and promote positive mental health, and raise awareness of the importance of good eye health and care.

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see the organisation able to ensure sustainability for its current services over the next five years and the freedom to be able to increase capacity and expand its service offering.

At the same time, the group is hoping to secure additional project funding to enable it to continue its accessible art project Art Beyond Vision and introduce a programme of activities for visually impaired children and their families.

Hayley Grocock, Chief Executive of Wakefield District Sight Aid, says: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to ensure the continued provision of vital services for blind and partially sighted people in our communities. This is important because it helps people build their confidence, feel better connected to the sight loss community, and improve their mental health. Through our work, people feel more able to cope with the challenges that life throws at them and are better informed about the support available and how to access it.”

Luke Scholey, volunteer and Chair of Trustees at Wakefield District Sight Aid, says: “To have certainty over our sustainability for the next five years is amazing, giving us the opportunity to grow and develop as well as continuing to provide all the great services we currently offer. Being registered blind myself, the charity has had a direct, positive impact on my own life, and it is a great honour and privilege to be a volunteer helping the charity to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the community we are here to serve.”

The National Lottery Community Fund recently launched its new strategy, ‘It starts with community’, which will underpin its efforts to distribute at least £4 billion of National Lottery funding by 2030.

As part of this, the funder has four key missions, which are to support communities to come together, be environmentally sustainable, help children and young people thrive and enable people to live healthier lives.

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK. Thanks to them, last year The National Lottery Community Fund was able to distribute over half a billion pounds (£615.4 million) of life-changing funding to communities.

To find out more visit www.TNLCommunityFund.org.uk   



Hayley Grocock (Chief Executive Officer), 01924 215555 / 07401 430230 or email ceo@wdsa.org.uk.

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