Visionary is a diverse community including organisations of various shapes and sizes across the UK. However, we are united in our common goal of improving the lives of people with sight loss and, unlike larger, more generic membership organisations, we are able to offer a more tailored support service to our members. One of the key aspects of this is our relationship model which means that every member has an allocated team member as their initial point of contact as well as being able to access our other services.

Knowledge sharing

The member resources available offer many facilities to enable members to share best practice, experiences, network and keep in touch with the latest developments in the sight loss sector using the following methods of communication:

  • Member Only website access with knowledge sharing and access to a range of toolkits and resources.
  • Regular briefings to keep up-to-date on governance, funding, good practice, sector news and more.
  • Peer mentoring opportunities.
  • Regional/country groups.
  • Co-ordination with national partners on sector developments and planning including representation on the UK Vision Strategy Leadership Group, the England Vision Strategy Executive Group and the VISION2020 UK Charities’ Forum Steering Group.

Networking events

Visionary conferences are designed for delegates to share best practice and take away learning to improve the quality of service provided to people with sight loss across the UK.

  • The two day Visionary Annual Conference provides a range of workshops and plenary sessions and includes a dinner and awards ceremony to celebrate the achievements of Visionary members.
  • Leadership Conferences where the leaders (CEOs, senior management and trustees) of local sight loss organisations come together to network with each other and discuss opportunities and issues.

Development and Innovation

The Development and Innovation team supports members to develop ongoing and new services through:

  • Access to quality guidelines, frameworks and principles for both organisational infrastructure and service delivery areas.
  • Participation in working groups with other Visionary members, the wider sight loss sector and other relevant parties. Current working groups cover eye clinic services, rehabilitation, technology, volunteering and employment and we will be launching more over the coming year.
  • The Development and Innovation fund which provides resource support and small grants for projects.

Income Development

The Income Development team supports all aspects of income from community fundraising and trading activity through to grants and contracts:

Opportunity Development Support

  • Opportunity awareness and development (Pre-tender and opportunity assessment).
  • Contracts/commissioning/funding bid development (tender process, post tender, contract/commission delivery, partnerships and bidding consortia).
  • Contract loss/end – managing succession and organisation impact.
  • Strategic positioning and planning to help increase income.
  • Outcome and impact measurement tools and training – demonstrating and proving to others what it is you do and the difference this makes.
  • Board and trustee development, especially at small organisations, so that they can provide better support and direction for your organisation.

Working with commissioners and funders

Visionary has a role to play in promoting the work of local sight loss charities and influencing commissioners in the design and procurement of VI services and also to support members to do so – we are doing this by:

  • Showcasing the VI sector.
  • Raising the profile of the valuable contribution local sight loss organisations make to the services delivered to people living with sight loss.
  • Supporting commissioners/funders to better understand how to engage more effectively with local sight loss organisations.

Contact Us

We hope that this has given you an overview of what you gain from being a Visionary member. For more information about the benefits of being a Visionary member, please contact the Member Engagement Team by emailing or calling 020 8090 9264.