The Eye Fund was established in October 2006 by The Sherry family after the death of their son Simon. He was losing his vision through a degenerative disease. At that time there were no paid counsellors to help him and people like him. He became very depressed and died from heart failure and malnutrition at the age of 39. To date, this counselling is not available on the NHS. The family was made aware of a great need for counselling for individuals and their families.
The aim is to help visually disadvantaged people come to terms with their condition and give them something positive for their future.
Identification of need.
Working closely with The Wirral Society of the Blind and Partially Sighted (WSBPS) and other agencies, we have used their Advocacy Support Service to gather information on the needs of visually impaired people. Many people leave the Eye Clinic not knowing what the future holds for them, and feel they have no future to look forward to. Counselling helps them come to terms with their disability and assure them that they can have a better quality of life.
To date we have
- Supplied funds for paid counsellors at St Pauls Eye Clinic at the Royal Liverpool Hospital, Liverpool, The Eye Clinic at Arrowe Park Hospital, Wirral and at WSBPS.
- Supplied funds for a registered blind person to train as a counsellor. (approx £2500 per annum)
- Supplied visual aid equipment to visually impaired people to help them read newspapers and use a personal computer.
- Supplied specially adapted iPads and Samsung Tablets to children in education to help them keep up with their studies.
It is important to Eye Fund Trustees that their money is effective. Counsellors submit regular reports to help Trustees understand how Eye Fund support is helping make a difference to people lives. In a recent report, Trustees were moved to read that counselling has not just made a difference to somebody’s life, but has potentially saved a life. In the last report from St Paul’s the counsellor states:
“S******* was talking about suicide on his first session. He finished with me this week and is coping well attending various activities with WSBPS and had gained acceptance of his visual loss. He is very appreciative of the support that the counselling service has given him and his feeling towards suicide have gone”
THIS is why we are asking for your support.
We will continue holding our own fundraising events; charity nights, street collections, race nights, sale of framed pictures, greeting cards and jewellery. These all bring in a certain amount of money but not enough to continue paying counsellors.
The cost is approximately £10,000 per year per counsellor. Any amount towards this figure would be extremely appreciated.