The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has announced the winners of its 2017 Vision Pioneer Awards.
Hosted annually to recognise good practice and honour the achievements of professionals committed to supporting blind and partially sighted people, this year’s ceremony took place at the Royal College of Nursing last Tuesday (12 December).
As well as the six accolades in categories including Campaigner of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Professional of the Year, Voice of the Community Award and Innovation Award, the charity honoured Diane Roworth, former chief officer of York Blind and Partially Sighted Society (YBPSS), with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Accepting the accolade, Ms Roworth said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award. It was a big surprise and a lovely end to my time at YBPSS.
“I’ve worked with so many brilliant people over the years across the eye heath and sight loss sector and it’s thanks to them that we have been able to achieve so much. It was lovely to spend the afternoon among others who are passionate about supporting blind and partially sighted people.”
Other winners included optometrist and independent practice owner, Simon Berry, who received Campaigner of the Year for his work to ensure that all children and young people who require specialist frames have the same level of care throughout the country.
Mr Berry’s campaign successfully changed regulation so that all children are now able to access specially adapted spectacles regardless of where they live and how they access the NHS service.
Speaking about the awards, chief executive of the RNIB, Sally Harvey, said: “When we set up the Vision Pioneer Awards we wanted to discover inspirational professionals, campaigns and projects that make a real difference to the lives of people with sight loss.
“All of the winners demonstrate dedication and excellence, help to prevent sight loss or encourage and support blind and partially sighted people. We really value all of our finalists and the outstanding dedication they have shown.