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AOP Awards 2018

Charity of the Year 2018

VICTA Children Ltd has been awarded optical Charity of the Year 2018

Winner: VICTA Children Ltd

VICTA was established in 1987 by a group of parents. Today it continues its work bringing blind and partially sighted children and young people together to socialise, have fun and travel.

In 2017 the charity teamed up the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award scheme to establish VICTA as a centre of excellence for the delivery of programmes tailored specifically to the needs of blind and partially-sighted youths. 

VICTA’ s Director of Strategy, Communication and Fundraising, Nicholas Schofield, said 

“For our blind and partially-sighted young people, involvement in team-based activities can be positively associated with social acceptance and a sense of belonging, especially where such involvement is characterised by positive coaching, progressive skill development and peer support”.

The response to the charity’s partnership with DofE has been overwhelming. Parents recognise the importance of DofE and its reputation not just for developing life skills, but among colleges, universities and employers who recognise it as a mark of excellence on CVs. 

Nicholas said “As a licenced DofE club, we are now working with a group of blind or partially-sighted students aged 14–17 on a pilot Bronze DofE Award programme, which started in September 2017.”

“For blind and partially sighted young people, team-based activities can be positively associated with social acceptance”

Nicholas Schofield, Director of Strategy, Communication and Fundraising

Runners up

Deafblind UK 

The Charity helps people with sight and hearing loss reconnect to a life they thought was lost.

Deafblind UK raises awareness and understanding in communities and government, and enables people with sight and hearing loss to live independently and participate in their local communities.  Their Connecting Lives project combats isolation and loss of independence, transforming members’ lives through digital technology.  “We educate people in what they can use their devices to achieve. This can range from social contact, keeping up with hobbies or managing their own affairs via online shopping and banking. A recent survey of participants found 90% had increased wellbeing and self-esteem.”  

The partially sighted society 

The charity provides high quality information, advice, support, training and equipment to help people with a visual impairment to make the best possible use of their sight.

The charity focusses on the vision that people have, rather than the vision lost, working with people help them live independent lives. Services includes national mail order, telephone advice, free low-vision assessment, and provision for the purchase of the latest optical and non-optical aids and equipment. 

The charity plans to provide an outreach assessment and advice service to the rural areas of Yorkshire, and produce a child-centred Visual Impairment (VI) toolkit for parents and teachers based on proven success with their current VI Pack.