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Cash crisis for blind charity
6:00pm Monday 23rd September 2013 in New Forest News
DORSET Blind Association is warning it may have to cut essential services unless it can raise £40,000 before the end of the year.
The charity’s chief executive officer Jonathan Holyhead is sounding the alarm bells as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) reports that within ten years blind and partially sighted people will not receive any form of care or support from their local council.
He said: “Without an injection of funds by the end of this calendar year, we face the distinct and definite prospect of having to cut our services and that would mean many more blind and partially sighted people having to face the impact of sight loss and the challenges that brings alone.”
Every month Dorset Blind Association helps up to 1,000 people living with sight loss, but receives no government funding.
“Our remit is to help blind and partially sighted people maintain active, healthy and independent lives notwithstanding their sight loss,” said Mr Holyhead.
“But that costs money and we are currently struggling to raise the funding we need to keep all of our services going. People living with sight loss in Dorset are already increasingly losing out on specialist support, rehabilitation and even help with basic activities, such as learning how to cook a meal or going outdoors safely because of cuts to local authority care budgets, and if we were forced to cut our services then that situation would become even worse.”
Dorset Blind Association is backing calls to change the Care Bill to ensure all newly blind and partially sighted people get the help they need.
The RNIB report, Facing Blindness Alone, reveals that between 2005 and 2013, there has been a 43 per cent decline in the number of blind and partially sighted people in England getting the most basic types of support – down from 55,875 people to 31,740.
Every year 23,000 people in England lose their sight and the RNIB research shows that although care and support has declined by 30 per cent for all adults with a physical disability, it has gone down 43 per cent for people with sight loss.
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