£373,702 for Sight Loss Charities in Cumbria

We are delighted to have raised £373,702 for Cumbria's five sight loss charities from the National Lottery Community Fund's Reaching Communities programme.

Losing your sight can be life-changing and extremely distressing. People who are newly diagnosed, or experiencing a significant deterioration in their sight, often worry about the future. In particular, whether they will be able to live independently or continue to enjoy a full and active life in the community, as they used to. Unfortunately, the support people get from the NHS or local authority for the non-medical aspects of sight loss, such as benefits and equipment, is very limited.

We started working with Cumbria's five sight loss charities in mid-2019, to develop an application to the National Lottery Community Fund's Reaching Communities programme, which would bring the charities closer together and support shared learning and best practice.

In March 2020, after getting through stage one, we submitted our second stage application. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic saw our application paused. When the Fund reopened for applications in late-2020, we were asked to start from scratch.

After almost 18 months of hard work, we are really pleased our application has finally be successful!

Over three years, this project will provide holistic, tailored support to over 1,500 people with sight loss experiencing a crisis across Cumbria. All partners will support people to claim their benefit entitlements, access independent living aids/adaptations, attend peer support groupps and get help from other, relevant organisations, so they feel more confident about living independently.

The project will also empower almost 200 people with sight loss to overcome barriers to volunteering so they can help and support each other to live the lives they wish to lead.

We look forward to working with all five charities over the next three years to measure the project's impact.