A SIGHT loss charity in Hampshire has been awarded £77,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund to continue information and advice hubs that support the health, wellbeing and independence of blind and partially sighted people for the next three years.
Open Sight Hampshire run Sight Hubs in Totton and Winchester, which offer technology support and independent living services.
Located in central shopping areas and libraries, one day a month, the hubs allow people with sight loss to access the support they need in the heart of their own community without having to travel long distances to unfamiliar places.
In Hampshire, there are an estimated 62,000 people living with sight loss – with 10,000 people estimated as living with sight loss in the Southampton and Winchester areas.
As well as the groups in Totton and Winchester, the National Lottery Community Fund grant will enable groups to continue to run in the areas of the New Forest, Petersfield, Portsmouth and Basingstoke, with a new one also being established in Fleet.
People can drop in without an appointment for a chat and to get free impartial advice, assistance with the latest digital technology devices and gadgets to help them make the best use of the sight they have so as to be as independent as possible in daily life and to communicate with family and friends as well as to connect with the wider world.
Jane Beesley, Project Manager at Open Sight Hampshire, said: “Living with a sight condition can be very isolating and daunting especially for older people.
"The Hubs are places where people with sight loss can learn to use technology to make the best use of the sight they have, which will make a massive difference to their mental wellbeing. We are incredibly grateful for this funding, so we can bring more Hubs to more people across Hampshire.”
Open Sight Hampshire celebrates its 100th birthday this year. Several events will take place throughout the year to mark the anniversary.