Members of the national Visionary Members Consultative Group, which included our own Director of Community Services at Henshaws Robert Cooper, developed a Sight Loss Sector Charter which then went out for consultation to the Visionary membership of local and national sight loss organisations, before being officially launched in November 2020 at the Visionary Annual Conference. Read on to find out more about the Charter….
Ethos of the Charter
The Charter puts blind and partially sighted people at the heart of the work of charities in the sight loss sector.
It also nurtures a stronger sight loss sector by highlighting the importance of collaboration and the building of positive relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
Fiona Sandford, CEO of Visionary, said, “Sight loss charities may have their own documents about ways of working and behaviours, but the Sight Loss Sector Charter complements these as its purpose is to build a more collaborative sector. I hope organisations will adopt the charter and use it at the core of their work and in their inductions of staff, trustees and volunteers to show that when people join an organisation, they are part of something bigger – they are part of the sight loss sector.”
Values of the Charter
In addition to the values that individual organisations may have, the values in the Charter that sight loss sector organisations have agreed to are:
- To ensure the inclusion of people with lived experience of sight loss in the co-design, co-delivery and co-evaluation of initiatives.
- To embrace and welcome diversity, showing commitment to tackle the different challenges that people (and their families) with sight loss face.
- To listen to each other and to what people with sight loss are telling us and act accordingly.
- To recognise the importance of insight and research in improving eye health and understanding the lived experience of sight loss, and share our knowledge and expertise.
- To acknowledge each other and recognise each other’s strengths.
Call for action
The Sight Loss Sector Charter is a practical document which local and national sight loss charities can incorporate into their daily work and when collaborating with each other. The call to action for the charter is to “Find it – Read it – Use it”!
The Charter was officially launched at the online Visionary Annual Conference in November 2020, and we are excited to see collaboration between sight loss organisations continue to grow, for the benefit of blind and partially sighted across the country.