The charity is set to use the money to help fund a new dedicated Volunteer Coordinator to support its 200 current volunteers, set up a buddy support system for members and implement an effective succession plan for its ageing volunteer base.
Particular focus will be paid to the buddy system, which is designed to help clients access health and wellbeing facilities like leisure centres by providing them with 'buddies' to help them learn the way and build confidence. The system has been developed in response to feedback accrued over the last 18 months, which suggests that, during this time, increased levels of isolation and loneliness for people with sight loss, dramatically affected their confidence and self-esteem.
4Sight Vision CEO Kirstie Thomas said: “We are delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players we will be able to strengthen and broaden the range of services we offer to our members, and establish a robust and dynamic system for supporting our volunteer base in the longer term.”
The funding grant comes after the charity was awarded the highest award a voluntary group can receive - The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service - on the eve of its 100th anniversary.