Cam Sight secures £210,000 from the Big Lottery Fund for Fenland service
Three new services aimed at helping Fenland people suffering sight loss are to be launched thanks to the Big Lottery Fund.
Cam Sight, the independent charity which provides services across Cambridgeshire for people of all ages living with low vision and blindness, has been awarded £210,000 to develop its services across Fenland.
The money, which has come thanks to a successful bid to the Big Lottery Fund, will allow Cam Sight to equalise its services across the county.
Historically Cam Sight operated only in South Cambridgeshire and opened its first office in Chatteris in 2008 to deliver services in the north of the county. Over the years, the demand and need for its services increased, requiring the charity to relocate in 2018 to a larger premise in Chapel Street, Wisbech.
The grant will be used to expand the charity’s existing services in Fenland. These include its Low Vision and Blindness Centre in Wisbech, which provides information and advice on enabling independent living and supports engagement and participation in activities enjoyed prior to sight loss.
This is achieved through the demonstration of items including magnifiers; lighting; phones; electronic readers and speakers; large size, talking, tactile and colour contrasted equipment. This service extends through a drop-in service in community hubs in the region.
Cam Sight also offers a volunteer programme providing support in the community, through befriending, reading, accompanying people on trips out and a ring-around service for those at who are unable to leave their homes. A sports programme provides volunteers to help people get involved in physical activity through guided running and tandem cycling. The funding will allow Cam Sight to carry on these services and increase the number of people who access the services.
The grant will also allow Cam Sight to introduce three new services. Two qualified counsellors will offer emotional support for people experiencing emotional distress following their sight loss. They will run group sessions in the area, and provide an opportunity for local people to receive one-to-one support in their homes.
Technology group training sessions will be offered involving demonstrations of the latest equipment and technology designed for people with low vision and blindness.
Children and young people will be supported by a family worker who will conduct home visits to families across Fenland and create a peer support service in the local area.
Dawn Preston, fenland support manager, Cam Sight said: “We deliver quality services but the Fenland team has been under-resourced, which has led to an unequal distribution of services across the county. We are thrilled to receive the funding which will address this issue and also enable us to provide a more holistic service to people living with low vision and blindness in Fenland.”