A pilot programme designed to support people living with sight loss to gain and retain paid employment has been named the winner of this year’s Astbury Award.
The ‘Works for me’ programme, established by the Thomas Pocklington Trust, worked in collaboration with businesses, charities and individuals so that it had access to extensive resources that supported positive employment outcomes.
The Astbury Award was launched in 2014 to recognise work that “fosters excellence in collaboration within the eye health and sight loss sectors.” It was named in honour of Nick Astbury, former UK chair of Vision 2020 and the award’s inaugural recipient.
After receiving the award, Alexa Sage, who managed the Employment Programme pilot, said: “We are delighted to win the Astbury Award. It is a wonderful recognition of this project.
Ms Sage added that Thomas Pocklington will now work with Visionary to use the learnings from the pilot to better support local organisations across the UK in delivering employment services to blind and partially sighted people.
Highly commended certificates were awarded to The Royal National Institute of Blind People for its See, Plan and Provide campaign; the UK Practice and Development Team; and Mark Godfrey, project lead on the production of the booklet Sight Loss – what we needed to know.
Speaking about the Astbury award, CEO of Vision 2020 UK, Mercy Jeyasingham, said: “We are very aware of how often collaboration goes unnoticed. Important collaborative work goes on behind the scenes in the various Vision 2020 UK standing committees and elsewhere, which produces excellent outcomes, but receive little acknowledgement. The Astbury Award was created to celebrate this work and to allow us to show how effective and powerful collaboration can be.”
Details of all the shortlisted projects can be found on the Vision 2020 website.