We want to make positive changes to service provision for blind and partally sighted people in Wirral. We want to undertake a building project to create a Centrtre of excellence and achieve our aim of providing the best services and facilities to meet the needs of visually impaired people.
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The past ten years have seen a great deal of developments for the Society. We have worked towards tackling social isolation, creating opportunities, increasing services and facilities and reaching out into the local community to raise awareness of support available. The success of our awareness raising activities has resulted in a significant increase of people using our services. Referrals from Social Services have increased, this has been particularly noticeable since the start of our I.C.T. Computer training courses became available at Ashville Lodge. Advances in technology have opened up a world of opportunities for blind and partially sighted people. Our aim is to provide facilities for service users to pursue courses of study, increase skills, improve employment opportunities and keep up to date with the world of modern technology. We have been able to offer a limited programme of training in partnership with Henshaws Society for Blind People. The demand for these courses has increased so much so, that we have a six month waiting list of people wanting to attend. At present, we do not have the resources to further this project. In order to increase our facilities we need to build an extension to our Resource Centre. The plans are for a purpose built training unit equipped with specialised computers and software, low vision study aids and support for more courses. We have built links with Wirral Metropolitan College resulting in a significant increase in students coming to Ashville Lodge for study placements. A recent consultation with disability support staff identified opportunities for working partnerships where added support not available at the college, would be offered by us. This will mean a definite increase in beneficiaries of these added facilities. Our monthly statistics show an average of 100 people of a wide age range using our services per week. This number would be significantly higher if we improved our building. We have received encouraging feedback from people who have attended courses illustrating how this access to technology contributes to their independent living and quality of life. Through these positive outcomes and increased demand, we aim to enable more people to benefit. In addition to offering more facilities to visually impaired people, we will be able to offer more opportunities to students to take work based placements. Planning permission has been granted for the plans. We have launched a Capital Appeal to help us raise funds to pursue this Project. Long term benefits will be: ‚Ä¢ Increased opportunities for training and development ‚Ä¢ A move towards inclusion and provision of support for visually impaired people. ‚Ä¢ Increased access and removal of barriers to services ‚Ä¢ More links and working partnerships within the local community.
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