We've been awarded National Lottery funding!

Written by Hayley

We're thrilled to announce that we've been awarded some funding from the National Lottery to support our vital community outreach work!

Thanks to players of the National Lottery, we have recently been awarded some funding to help support our community outreach programme, which aims to tackle social isolation and loneliness.

Our community outreach programme consists of several key strands of activity:

  1. A regular monthly presence at community anchor locations across the District, giving people local access to specialist advice and information, and the opportunity to make connections with other visually impaired people in a friendly, supportive environment. Our coffee mornings currently take place in Outwood, Horbury and Pontefract, alongside our Younger Members Social Group which meets in central Wakefield.
  2. Activities and trips out, to enable people to experience new things and places of interest with the support of trained sighted guides. We aim to run at least three trips a year and recent visits have included public gardens, a nature reserve, and a Christmas outing to Harrogate with music and dancing. Our service users tell us that these trips have helped them develop new friendships and support networks, and opened up new interests. 
  3. Special events, such as our annual Christmas lunch, which takes place next week. Again, these are opportunities to bring people together and with this funding we would love to do more events like this. 
  4. Befriending, on a one-to-one basis delivered by trained volunteers, and at a peer-to-peer level through our innovative Friends on the Phone scheme, where groups of people who share similar interests are matched up and agree to share contact details. Demand for our befriending service outstrips capacity by some margin and we'd love to be able to recruit and train more volunteers to deliver befriending to the most isolated people.

We are so grateful for this much-needed funding, and look forward to sharing our plans for the coming months with you soon!