A charity supporting blind and partially sighted people in Wirral has been awarded more than £78,000 by the Steve Morgan Foundation after expanding their services.
The Wirral Society of the Blind and Partially Sighted (WSBPS) support around 300 people every month who are living with sight loss through practical, social and emotional support.
The group was originally set up by a small group of visually impaired people who identified a gap in the local service but has witnessed a surge in demand over the last 12 months.
It follows the decision to join the Wirral Health and Wellbeing consortium, working with organisations including Age UK, Wirral Minds and Merseyside Society for Deaf People. This allows people to be referred for appropriate support.
As a result the charity applied to the Steve Morgan Foundation for £78,726 to pay for a supervisor for the day-to-day running of their Birkenhead centre.
The group also runs an eye unit at Wirral University Teaching Hospital and it’s estimated as many as 3,000 people in Wirral may be blind or partially blind.
Lynne Sedgwick, development and finance manager at Wirral Society of the Blind and Partially Sighted, said, “If people have had sight then lose it, it’s often a harder transition to make than if they’d never had sight at all. We do have a huge support network.
“We learnt a lot through Covid because people were forced into isolation. We recognised the importance of digital inclusion. Sight loss can lead to a loss of confidence.
“We’re delighted by the support of the Steve Morgan Foundation. They are a very supportive organisation and the funding is over three years. They come and visit and get to know you and the community. It changes lives.”
Ruth Dixon, projects manager at the Steve Morgan Foundation, said, “The centre has been extended over the years and transformed into a bright, welcoming building. It’s a focal point of the community and is a lifeline for its users.”