12 March 2019
Founded in 1799 by a group of philanthropists, SeeAbility is one of the world’s oldest charities dedicated to supporting people with disabilities. The charity offers ambitious support to people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss helping them to challenge what they expect from life, from themselves and from wider society.
SeeAbility is known for championing better eye care services for children with learning disabilities who are 28 times more likely to have serious sight problems than other children. The charity has now secured an incredible £495,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK, to ensure that adults with learning disabilities and autism have the opportunity to learn about vital eye care and how to access the services they need, in their local communities.
The new programme called ‘Every Day in Focus’ will be led by Eye Care Champions including people with lived experience of learning disabilities. They will work with local groups to reach and empower 7,000 people with learning disabilities and autism and over 5,000 eye care professionals. Work will begin in The North West – including the 5 counties of Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria – and will also cover all of London’s 32 boroughs.
Lisa Hopkins, Chief Executive of SeeAbility said:
“We are delighted to work with the National Lottery Community Fund, who share our values of putting people with learning disabilities in the lead to ensure communities are stronger and more inclusive. This is exactly the kind of positive impact we want to create as we mark SeeAbility’s 220th birthday.”
Scott Watkin BEM, SeeAbility’s Head of Engagement said:
“I have an eye condition which was thankfully picked up and treated early on. If it hadn’t, I would be a lot less independent now. Together with our Eye Care Champions who we’ll recruit thanks to this funding, I look forward to ensuring people with learning disabilities get the support they need to thrive and play their role in communities.”
James Harcourt, England Director at the National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, people with learning disabilities will be able to get the help they need and learn more about vital eye care. We’re proud to support SeeAbility which puts people with learning disabilities at the heart of their work, investing in what matters most to them and their community.”
Across 2019, SeeAbility will be marking its 220th birthday with a series of events and by spotlighting the talents and achievements of people with learning disabilities, autism and sight loss. Their aim is to forge many more new partnerships with like-minded organisations who share their vision of making society more inclusive and welcoming for all.
• For further information about the funding, please contact: Desiree D’Souza on 07903 926491 or email d.d’firstname.lastname@example.org
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