Community Services (Vision Impairment)

We work with people of all ages, both children and adults, living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities.

We aim to empower them to take steps to change their lives for the better, with independence and friendship being at the heart of everything we do.

How can we help?

Through our award-winning Pathway to Independence programme, we tailor support, activities and training to meet the needs of each individual.

Our centres across Greater Manchester and Liverpool offer a range of services to provide more than 7,000 visually impaired people with an improved quality of life, and our digital and phone services mean we can even support you from your home.

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Children having fun

Our support covers all ages; from children and young people to adults (please note that we only support children and young people in Liverpool, whereas we support all ages across Greater Manchester).

Our friendly and experienced staff and volunteers are passionate and committed to delivering valuable services that change lives.

Find out about our range of services in more detail below. Alternatively, you can download our Community Services leaflet.

Philippa smiling whilst on the telephone

Information, Advice and Guidance

Our specially trained First Step team are available for support on 0300 222 5555 for any information, advice and guidance that you or someone you care for may need with a visual impairment, and can support you in taking your next step. We can also refer you to other organisations as necessary.

Find out more about First Step
Gail Brett , Henshaws Community Enablement Officer (pink top) with guide dog Wanda. Pictured with Lynsey Clarke, Altrincham Hospital sister.

Patient Support Service

Our Patient Support Service is available at both Manchester Royal Eye and Altrincham Hospitals, providing someone to talk to in confidence, medical information explained in a clear way, and advice and equipment. Contact 0300 222 5555 or drop in to either hospital.

Find out more about Patient Support

Enablement Services

Our hubs are spread across Greater Manchester, offering a wide range of services to adults within their own community.  Our services include social and specialist groups, Living Well with Sight Loss courses, counselling, information and advice, and much more.

Find out more about Enablement Services
Mark showing a service user how to use a tablet

Digital Enablement Services

Our digital enablement team are here to find the solution that works for you, no matter what your sight level, age, or technical ability is. Our team provide assessments, training, groups and online resources on a number of digital products including JAWS, OrCam, Apple and Synapptic.

Find out more about Digital Enablement

Children and Young People's Services

Our Children and Young People’s (CYP) team, based in Greater Manchester and Liverpool, specialise in working with children and parents with sight loss, often with complex needs and additional disabilities. We also support family members/carers where visual impairment has an impact on their life.

Find out more about CYP Services

Online support in our Knowledge Village

Our online resources including eBooks, videos and our blog provide free information on living with sight loss, so you can access our help and advice no matter where you are. These resources are useful if you or a family member are blind or visually impaired, or if you are a healthcare professional.

Explore our Knowledge Village
Discussing stages of grief in a counselling session.

Counselling service

It can be difficult to come to terms with a sight loss diagnosis, but our counselling service is here to support you.

Find out more about our counselling service

Training and support

We offer a range of services to support and benefit our local community, including Visual Impairment Awareness Training (VIAT). By working with us you will not only be supporting your local charity, you will also be contributing towards your corporate social responsibility targets and helping to create an inclusive community.

Find out more about VIAT

"Before Henshaws I felt like I was stumbling around in the dark with nowhere to turn, but now I have a new-found confidence and a real zest for life!"

Peter, Manchester

Close-up image of a service user smiling at the camera, with the background out of focus