The VI Charity Sector Partnership has created a Crisis Response Plan to be able to quickly respond to any future crisis in a coordinated manner.
This is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic which had a largely negative impact on the lives of people who are blind, partially sighted or at risk of sight loss, particularly in the early days when many found getting food, medicines and basic supplies difficult. The pandemic affected access to health care including appointments and treatments for eye conditions which directly affected those at risk of sight loss. The needs of people who are blind, partially sighted or at risk of sight loss were not considered at the outset of the pandemic by governments or service providers such as supermarkets. In response, sight loss charities were approached by their beneficiaries to provide accessible information and guidance on how the pandemic restrictions applied to them and for advice about specific concerns.
The Crisis Response Plan sets out a planned joint response to any future crisis that may impact on the lives of people who are blind, partially sighted or at risk of sight loss. We aim to ensure that our beneficiaries are able to maintain physical and emotional wellbeing as well as having their voice, needs and experiences heard and understood by government, service providers and policy makers in times of crisis. It is intended that this plan “goes live” on Thursday 1 April and there are plans to test it out later in the year as part of a simulation exercise.
The Crisis Response Plan is the product of a huge amount of collaborative work by staff in various organisations who invested a lot of time and effort in developing this. The way in which they have all worked together is a reflection both of the leadership demonstrated by the VI Charity Sector partnership and the commitment of staff to provide the best possible support they can to those with sight loss.
To find out more about the VI Charity Sector Partnership, see the Visionary news on “VI Charity Sector Partnership’s workstreams”.