Who we are
Sight Support West of England is a local charity that works with visually impaired people and their families across Bristol, Bath, N-E Somerset and South Gloucestershire. Working in close partnership with our sister charity Wiltshire Sight who operate in Wiltshire and Swindon, our aim is to ensure that people living with a sight loss across the West of England have access to timely and appropriate support services and are empowered to lead active and fulfilled lives.
Sight Support was formed in April 2018, with start-up funding from the Thomas Pocklington Trust, in response to a needs assessment which showed that people in Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire living with sight loss did not have access to appropriate local support services. In the absence of any local sight loss charity in the area, the new charity was formed to build local services which are driven by the needs of blind and partially sighted people and which bridge the gap between health service provision and social care for people with sight loss.
Whilst Wiltshire Sight and Sight Support are separate, independent charities, we work together closely to increase our effectiveness and coverage across the region, whilst also minimise our costs through sharing central costs such as IT systems, communications, volunteer support and administration.
Together with Wiltshire Sight, we also aim to increase awareness of the importance of eye health and the prevention of sight loss, through the provision of training and awareness-raising activities to help communities, service organisations and the general public across the West of England to better understand sight loss prevention, and to remove barriers and address inequalities for people living with sight loss.
Why we exist
Every 6 minutes someone in the UK is told they are losing their sight, and current figures suggest that by 2030, 1 in 25 people living in the UK will be sight impaired. In the West of England, over 53,000 people are currently estimated to be living with sight loss.
Sight loss can have devastating consequences. It can restrict social interaction, cause isolation, remove a person’s independence and lead to low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence or depression. Sight Support West of England exists to ensure that individuals with visual impairments are fully supported in living their lives independently and to the full.
Whether we are working with someone who has been blind since birth or someone who is only now dealing with the onset of a visual impairment, we offer a range of services that are appropriate to the specific needs of the individual.
Annual Report and Accounts
Sight Support was registered with the Charity Commission in April 2018 under our original name of Vision West of England. Our first annual report and accounts were published in 2019. We changed our operating name to Sight Support West of England in September 2020.
You can download our annual report and accounts for the past three years here:
Sight Support West of England Annual Return 2019
Sight Support West of England Annual Return 2020
Sight Support West of England Annual Return 2021