2019 Visionary Award for Collaboration sponsored by Russell-Cooke

Through the awards we aim to recognise and celebrate the impactful services delivered by local sight loss charities and the positive difference made to the lives of blind and partially sighted people. Highlighting the achievements of local charities helps share good practice across the sector and draws attention to the talent and expertise out there! The awards are open to Visionary members who can nominate their own organisation, or another they feel deserves recognition.

The category winner will be announced at the Visionary Annual Conference during the awards dinner on Thursday 14 November 2019 and will receive £500, thanks to sponsorship from Russell-Cooke.

Competition was strong and the short-listing panel had to work hard to select the final nominees. Whilst the individual 200-word summaries below are a concise description of the award category submissions, be assured that all short-listed nominations clearly demonstrated how they met the individual award criteria and evidenced the positive difference they make to the lives of blind and partially sighted people.

Collaboration (sponsored by Russell-Cooke)

We want to hear what you have achieved by collaboration – what have you done that you might not have been able to do on your own? This could include engagement that has extended or diversified your reach, offered creative services or helped to recruit more volunteers.

Dining for All – Northamptonshire Association for the Blind

The challenges visually impaired people face eating out are well documented – this project shines a light on good practice and encourage others to follow suit. The “Dining for All” award has come about via Collaboration with the ‘Carlsberg UK Northamptonshire Food and Drink Awards’ and establishing the new Dining for All award category. It recognises those eateries who go the extra mile for people with sensory impairments, particularly sight loss.

“Dining for All” also has awareness raising and fundraising aspects:

  1. #DiningInTheDark: fundraising dinner where all 85 guests who wore sight loss simulation specs throughout the event. Supported by Northamptonshire College.
  2. #DineInTheDark: fundraising at home: innovative and fun fundraising packs enable people to hold dinner parties/ drinks/ coffee mornings to raise money for NAB while raising awareness of sight loss.

#DiningForAll benefits family members, friends, carers and loved ones of people with sensory loss as much as the person with sensory loss as all more likely to enjoy the experience of eating out. Moreover, if eateries and other establishments are giving more attention to the needs of people with sensory loss it is likely that they will also give the same consideration to people with other potentially debilitating conditions.

Mobilicious – Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) and the Kent Association for the Blind (KAB)

Mobilicious, a Collaboration between RSBC and KAB, benefits both sight impaired children and their families. The focus is on providing parents with knowledge and confidence to support their visually impaired children with mobility training, ultimately ensuring that the young people become safe and independent travellers.

Parents/carers of sight impaired children gain knowledge and confidence through experiential learning, enabling them to support and reinforce their children’s mobility training.

Sight impaired children and their siblings enjoy a safe and accessible residential weekend, taking part in activities and gaining confidence in using their independence skills in a new environment. They benefit from meeting other children in similar situations and learning from their strategies and experiences.

Parents and carers of sight impaired children enjoy a short break from their caring responsibilities in a relaxing environment. They gain informal peer support through meeting other parents and sharing their stories in a safe and supportive setting. They develop and reinforce their links with RSBC and KAB, enabling them to learn about other services and resources provided by both organisations.

Sight impaired young people benefit in terms of freedom, independence, safety and learning as a result of their parents being better equipped to support their mobility training.

South Tyneside Sensory Support –Gateshead and North Tyneside Sight Service

Collaboration was central to Sight Service successfully securing a five-year contract worth over £570k.

Following a difficult period of restructuring/cost reduction and appointment of a new CEO the South Tyneside Sensory Support contract was tendered. With limited time and excellent work happening across the country, collaboration was an obvious answer. Services needed modernising and aligning to local priorities and to evidence impact.

Sight Service successfully collaborated with:

  • Henshaws ‘Pathway to Independence’ model was adopted to provide an evidence-based overview of services, clearly demonstrating the continuous journey available to clients and support available.
  • Sight Service signed up to RNIB ‘Living with Sight Loss Quality Assurance Framework’ to measure the impact of the course, ensuring excellence in delivery.
  • Devon in Sight shared the ‘Sight Loss MOT’ assessment framework. This traffic light approach encapsulates priority actions for individual plans and ensures progress towards goals is measurable.
  • Wilberforce Trust in York Sight Service demonstrated the benefits of an integrated approach to service delivery – the mobile outreach van, low vision services and the branding of ‘Yorsensory Services’.

Combined with Sight Service’s existing collaboration with Action on Hearing Loss, each of these collaborations helped Sight Service improve and secure their services.


Only Visionary members are eligible to vote, with one vote per member organisation.

The lead contact at each Visionary member has been sent an e-mail inviting their organisation to cast their vote. (If you feel that your organisation has not received such an e-mail please contact us at Visionary).

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