West Sussex sight loss charity celebrates its centenary with fundraising ball and party

A sight loss charity which helps people across Wests Sussex has marked its 100th anniversary with two very special celebrations – a staff party at its Bognor Regis headquarters and a fundraising ball at the Hilton Avisford Park Hotel, near Arundel.

For 100 years and without interruption, 4Sight Vision Support, or West Sussex Association for the Blind as it was originally called, has provided specialist services to blind and sight impaired adults and children across West Sussex. The party and the ball not only celebrated this milestone anniversary but the hard work of staff, volunteers and the local community which continued to deliver the charity’s vital services throughout the pandemic.

4Sight Vision Support was also honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The current staff came together to celebrate at the party with fizz, a quiz, and of course a 100th birthday cake. They included the longest standing members – sight care adviser Annie Taylor and finance manager Melanie Adams – who have both been with the charity for over 20 years. Thanking staff for their hard work, dedication and support, chief executive Kirstie Thomas reflected on some key achievements from the last 100 years and highlighted the future services model, which includes a number of new services developed specifically in response to the pandemic.

Guests at the Visions of Hollywood Ball included current and former staff, volunteers, trustees, clients and members, corporate supporters, plus friends and family. The dress code was Hollywood glamour: on arrival guests posed for photos by a gleaming red Cadillac, then followed the Hollywood ‘stars’ to a drinks reception with film soundtracks playing. When it was time for dinner, guests walked down the red carpet lined with paparazzi to take their seats, and were greeted and entertained during dinner by the Rat Pack style singer. The occasion provided the very best of Tinsel Town style dancing and entertainment with live music provided by What the Funk. Tickets to the ball, plus fundraising on the night including a raffle, auction, Hollywood stars game, and a Wheel of Fortune game, have so far raised nearly £13,000 and Kirstie was delighted with the total.

She said: “The ball was not only a wonderful celebration but also a thank you to all who have supported our work over the last century. I enjoyed speaking to the guests on the night, who all said what a fabulous evening it was, and how hard the fundraising team has worked to make it such an overwhelming success. The funds we have raised will help us to provide our future services for both children and adults across West Sussex as we head into our next 100 years.”

The team at 4Sight Vision Support would like to thank everyone who generously supported the ball including guests who bought tickets, joined the auction, bought raffle tickets, made donations and played the Hollywood games. The charity would also like to thank its corporate sponsors Rayner, Barnham Opticians, Brandabble, Arun Business Partnership, Sims Williams Estate Agents, SRP Design and Print, Passmore Glass, Southdowns Water and the many prize donors and those that supported the games.

For further details about 4Sight Vision Support’s work and services, call the team 01243 828555 or email [email protected]