With over 111,000 people living with sight loss in Wales, there are numerous local and major organisations and programmes that provide support. Highlighted in this article are 5 noteworthy charities that work and campaign to improve and enrich the lives of blind and partially sighted people across the country.
Sight Cymru, established in 1865 as Gwent Association for the Blind, and formerly known as Sight Support, is an independent charity who takes pride in, ‘being the only entirely Welsh sight loss agency providing services throughout Wales.’
Located in Torfaen, South Wales, their dedicated team of 25 members and over 100 volunteers, help blind and partially sighted people by providing a wide variety of services including, rehabilitation, mobility training, counseling, welfare rights assistance, resource for independent living, and technology assistance. Their excellent work earned them the 2017 GSK Impact Award in partnership with the King’s Fund.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) was founded in 1868 by four blind and visually impaired leaders who aimed to improve access to Braille and promote employment for the blind. It is a major organisation active throughout the United Kingdom.
RNIB Cymru supports children and families dealing with sight loss and provides patients in eye clinics with information, advice, and emotional support through Eye Care Liaison Officers (ECLO). They hold free training events to help people use assistive technology, and at their Cardiff Transcription Centre, they transform print materials into accessible formats. RNIB Cymru also campaigns to improve specific accessibility provisions in Wales.
Wales Council of the Blind (WCB) is an umbrella agency aiming to represent their members by region. They are a platform where members, (local clubs, charities, statutory services, and individuals with sight loss) can raise and prioritize their specific needs and concerns. They help people network with other people and organisations, spread information, highlight good accessibility practices, connect the people with the government, and so much more.
Sight Life, (formerly Cardiff Institute for the Blind) provide direct service to people with sight loss, mainly in Cardiff, Swansea, Rhondda, Cynon, Taf, Neath, and Port Talbot. Their services include computer training, home visits, hospital support, courses and workshops promoting independent living, information, advice, signposting specific needs to other organisations and so much more.
One unique thing about Sight Life is the social enrichment they offer to the blind and partially sighted through their numerous clubs, support groups, events, sports, and other leisure activities.
North Wales Holiday for the Blind and Visually Impaired is an inspiring charity established and run by husband-and-wife Nigel and Karen Garry. Nigel Garry is a registered blind person who lost his sight at the age of 19 due to optic neuritis. They saw a need for accessible holiday accommodations, and successfully raised funds to purchase a 14×42 static caravan specifically adapted to meet the needs of those who are blind and visually impaired.
Located in Lido Beach Caravan Park, Prestatyn and the Lyons Robin Hood site, Rhyl, North Wales, they continue to raise funds as a charity to offer free or heavily subsidised holidays for adults and children, their family members, and carers.
Get Involved Today
Whether you are someone in need of support, a carer or a friend who wants to signpost someone to these organisations, or someone who wants to help by volunteering or donating, check out these 5 amazing charities in Wales.
If you want to learn more about charities and organisations in other parts of the UK, check out these related articles:
By Guenivir Kendrick
North Wales Accessible Holidays For Blind and Visually Impaired. (n.d.). About US. North Wales Accessible Holidays For Blind and Visually Impaired. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.northwalesaccessibleholidaysforblindandvisuallyimpaired.org/About-Us.php
Royal National Institute of Blind People. (2023). How we can help. RNIB. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://www.rnib.org.uk/nations/walescymru/how-we-can-help/
Sight Cymru. (2022, July 5). Home. Sight Cymru. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://sightcymru.org.uk/
Sight Life. (2022, June 14). What we do – services and support for people with sight loss. Sight Life. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://sightlife.wales/about-us/what-we-do/
Wales Council of the Blind. (n.d.). Wales Council of the Blind. Our Work – Wales Council of the Blind. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from http://wcb-ccd.org.uk/our-work/our-work