Jane Vincent Head of Children’s services

Fantastic News! Sight for Surrey secures generous National Lottery Community Funding Reaching Communities Grant for its work with children and young people

December 2018

Sight for Surrey has been awarded £319,015 over three years to fund its work with children and young people aged 0-25 with vision impairment (VI) or who are deafblind. The project ‘Today and Tomorrow’ aims to off-set any negative societal attitudes that may impact and challenge families and provide support and tools to help them live life as independently as possible in the community. When a child is diagnosed with a serious sight problem or a vision & hearing loss, it can be a very difficult time for the whole family.

The award will help us to meet the costs of our existing Inclusion Programme of age appropriate activities such as ice-skating, bowling, riding, craft and family days out. It will also enable us to increase the amount of activities we offer each year. These events give young people the chance to enjoy and undertake activities open to their peers alongside non-VI siblings with families benefiting from mutual support. Meeting others who experience the same challenges can reduce isolation and give a feeling of solidarity. The children and young people who participate have opportunities to make friends, share experiences, gain confidence, have fun and gain a deeper understanding about the world.

The award will also fund four new posts. Firstly, a Family Support Worker who will support families in reducing anxiety and building resilience from the point of diagnosis through home visits, practical guidance, management strategies, signposting and a parent-led support group. Secondly, a Habilitation Support Worker for the 0-5 and 19-25 age groups who will provide support to pre-school children to ensure milestones are met. For the 19-25 years olds, they will be helping them with independent life skills. We are also recruiting for a recreation worker for children and young peoples service and Assistant Administrator to support these new roles.

Sight for Surrey would like to thank the team at the Big Lottery Fund and all who support the National Lottery by purchasing a ticket.

Bob Hughes, Chief Executive at Sight for Surrey said: “Our mission is to help children and young people to be the adult they want to be with the skills, knowledge and abilities to be independent and to make their own way in the world. This generous grant will make a huge difference today to the tomorrow of the young people we support.”

Jane Vincent, Head of Children and Young People’s Service at Sight for Surrey said: “As a charity, we rely on the generosity of individuals and organisations. We are thrilled to have received this three year grant which will enable us to meet the rising need and requests for our help from children, young people and their families. This grant will enable us to improve learning opportunities that will support independence and positive empowerment for our children and young people they will also benefit from increased confidence and reduced social isolation.

Following this incredible grant we are advertising three new posts which close in January – please do take a look and share with talented people and get in touch with any further questions!