Living Well with Sight Loss

The RNIB’s Living Well with Sight Loss phone course is being run in partnership with Vision North Somerset for North Somerset residents.

The course is open to those with sight loss as well as family members. The course is free and is run over 4 sessions.

To access the course, you will receive a phone call so all you need is either a landline or mobile phone. You can choose to join in on the phone call or just listen to the information.

The course is being run at 10:30am for no more than 1 hour 15 minutes on:

  • Wednesday 5th October
  • Wednesday 12th October
  • Wednesday 19th October
  • Wednesday 26th October

Course Content

Week 1 – Introduction:

  • What the course entails
  • Where to find information on specific eye conditions
  • Certification and Registration (Certificate of Visual Impairment, Role of Low Vision Service, Magnifiers, Lighting)
  • Role of Eye Care Liaison Officer, Rehabilitation Officer and RNIB Services.

Week 2 – In the Home:

  • Home Visits from a Rehabilitation Officer
  • Low vision aid equipment
  • Daily Living Aids at home including making drinks and preparing food, talking equipment, reading labels, reading equipment, RNIB catalogue.
  • Technology including accessibility settings, basic info on smart phones, recommended apps, smart speakers, etc.

Week 3 – Getting Out and About:

  • Mobility and Orientation,
  • Role of a Rehabilitation Officer in terms of helping with mobility, discussing white canes,
  • Guide Dogs for the Blind,
  • Public Transport,
  • Welfare Benefits and Legal Rights

Week 4 – Eye Health, Wellbeing, Leisure and Staying Connected:

  • How to look after our eyes
  • Charles Bonnet Syndrome
  • Sight Loss and Wellbeing
  • 5 steps to wellbeing (Connect with others, be physically and mentally active, learn new skills, give to others, be mindful)
  • RNIB Connect and Next Steps

To take part in the course please phone Vision North Somerset on 01934 419393 between 10am and 1pm Monday to Thursday and ask for Anna or Lori.

We’re hiring! Fundraising Officer

About Us:

Vision North Somerset are a small but established local charity supporting around 1500 people with vision impairment and hearing impairment from our office base and across the county. We have recently appointed a new CEO and are at an exciting stage of development in our service offer and income streams. We have been successful with grant fundraising, are increasing other funding streams such as regular givers, individual donors and income from room hire. This role offers the chance to contribute to a great cause, working flexibly and gaining a wide range of charity fundraising experience.

About You:

You will be a creative, can-do galvaniser with shrewd business sense who can develop and grow a team of fundraising volunteers. You will work closely with the CEO and other staff to plan and prioritise work developing diverse fundraising streams to increase income.

This is an ideal opportunity for the right person to land a flexible, part-time, enjoyable role in the charity sector. You might be looking to move up from an entry-level position in the charity sector, to get back to work after a gap or move to work locally in North Somerset rather than needing to commute.

While professional fundraising experience would be extremely helpful, we are open to candidates with transferable experience, for example in sales, volunteer management, business development, membership scheme or alumni management etc. Significant voluntary fundraising experience would also be helpful. We will provide training and induction as needed – you would need to be proactive, quick to learn and implement your knowledge.

About the role:

The Fundraising Officer will ensure that Vision North Somerset has a sustainable and growing income from community and local fundraising including collections and collection boxes, sponsored events, regular givers and appeals to our contacts, online giving through social media and our website, small local grants, small corporate funders and any other volunteer-led or local fundraising.

This role will support the CEO to develop the gifts in wills and in memory giving programme. Larger grant applications will not be part of this role.

Practical bits:

You will be based at our office near the train station in Weston-Super-Mare in North Somerset with regular homeworking and flexible hours available by agreement with your manager.  You need to be able to regularly travel across the county.  If you have a disability this can be arranged via the Access to Work scheme.

Option of full time (37 hours a week) or part time (28 hours a week)

Salary of £28,000 pro rata, pension scheme after probation period.

While this role is a one-year contract, there is the likelihood of a permanent role in future.

Vision North Somerset strives to be diverse and inclusive a place where we can ALL be ourselves. We particularly encourage applications from people who have lived experience of sight loss or disability, who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic backgrounds and/or those who identify as LGBTQ+, who are currently underrepresented in our organisation.

Please forward a tailored CV and cover letter of no more than 1000 words detailing how you meet the requirements of this role. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

If you would like an informal discussion before applying, please contact CEO Lauren Williams lauren.williams@visionns.org.uk

Closing date 14th October 2022

Living with Sight Loss: Share your experience

Are you living with Sight Loss? How has the pandemic affected you? And what could we do to help? We’d love to hear from you!

Tell us more about your experiences so we can tailor our services to better support people living with Sight Loss in North Somerset.

If you’d like to have your say, or maybe get involved in future consultations with Vision North Somerset, please follow the link below to complete our survey on Microsoft Forms.

Click here to share your experience of living with sight loss during the pandemic.

We’re hiring – work for your local sight loss charity

About the role: Fundraising Officer

An exciting chance to join an established, friendly local charity and really make your mark managing a wide range of fundraising activities. You will have a considerable degree of autonomy and will be working with a CEO who really ‘gets’ fundraising.

About you:

You will be a creative, can-do galvaniser with a good understanding of ‘return on investment’ and great people skills. You will work closely with the CEO, other staff and volunteers to plan and deliver different fundraising streams to increase our fundraising income.

This is an ideal opportunity for the right person to land a flexible, potentially part-time, enjoyable role in the charity sector. You might be looking to move up from an entry-level position in the charity sector, to get back to work after a gap or move to work locally in North Somerset rather than needing to commute. We can discuss flexible working to fit around caring responsibilities.

While professional fundraising experience would be extremely helpful, we are open to candidates with some years of transferable experience, for example in a management role in sales or marketing, volunteer management, business development, membership scheme or alumni management etc. Significant voluntary fundraising experience would also be helpful. We will provide training and induction – you will need to be proactive, quick to learn and to implement your knowledge.

About us:

Vision North Somerset are a small but established local charity supporting around 1500 people with vision impairment and hearing impairment from our office base and across the county. We have recently appointed a new CEO and are at an exciting stage of development in our service offer and income streams. We have been successful with grant fundraising and are increasing other funding streams such as regular givers, individual donors and income from room hire. We’re a friendly, supportive team with committed volunteers and appreciative service users.

Practical bits:

You will be based at our office near the train station in Weston-Super-Mare in North Somerset with regular homeworking and flexible hours available by agreement with your manager.  You need to be able to regularly travel across the county.  If you have a disability this can be arranged via the Access to Work scheme.

While this role is a one-year contract, there is the possibility of a permanent role in future.

Vision North Somerset strives to be diverse and inclusive a place where we can ALL be ourselves. We particularly encourage applications from people who identify as Black, Asian or from a Minority Ethnic backgrounds and/or those who identify as LGBTQ+, who are currently underrepresented in our organisation.

How to apply:

Please forward a tailored CV and a one-page cover letter detailing how you meet the requirements of this role. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

If you would like an informal discussion before applying, please contact CEO Lauren Williams at Vision North Somerset on lauren.williams@visionns.org  

Repair Work Started at Neva Road!

Rank Foundation
The Rank Foundation: a pebble in the pond.

Work has started on essential repairs at our Resource Centre in Weston thanks to a donation from the Rank Foundation and the generosity of the local people who use our services.

We still need to raise a further £4,000 – but at least our roof is fixed and we have new radiators so we can provide a warm and dry environment for our visitors. Grateful thanks to all who have donated.

Roof Repair Work
Photo of our damaged roof tiles, which are undergoing repair.

Damp-Proofing the Cellar
Photo of 3 workers damp-proofing the cellar dressed in biohazard protection clothing.

Lottery Celebration

Celebration is in the air on June 12th when Vision North Somerset launch a fantastic new project funded by the National Lottery.

People with sight loss, their family and carers are invited to come along to the charity’s centre in Neva Road to see what’s on offer.

The In Sight in Touch project received an amazing £336,000 from the National Lottery and will introduce some innovative ideas put forward by blind and partially sighted people themselves.

The Celebration and Open Day is an opportunity for everyone to come along, find out what we have planned and tell us their own ideas too.

Other exhibitors will also be present for the event including HumanWare assistive technology, Dolphin Computers, Wiltshire Farm Foods and others.

The charity is also celebrating volunteers week and has invited all of the organisation’s 80 volunteers to share in the celebrations. Voluntary Services Co-ordinator Michele Blake said: “Our volunteers are a great team and highly valued. If anyone would like to consider joining us we’d be happy to see them at the Open Day and have a chat about volunteering opportunities.”

The event takes place from 11am – 3pm on 12th June at Vision North Somerset, 3 Neva Road, Weston super Mare.

A Huge Thank You to Caroline

Caroline is the daughter of one of our members and she chose to support Vision North Somerset by running the London Marathon. She completed the run successfully and has raised £1,748.75 in sponsorship!

The photo on the left shows Caroline (left) standing next to her daughter (right) after completing her run. The image on the left shows how she raised £1,460 via online donations and £288.75 via Gift Aid through Local Giving.

A great effort on a really hot day. We really appreciate Caroline’s support. Thank you Caroline!