RNIB wins award for COVID-19 response

The charity was recognised at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards last week

Shopping delivery

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has received an accolade recognising the support it provided to people with sight loss during the pandemic.

The charity was named the winner in the Innovation: Best COVID-19 Support Project category at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards last week (19 May).

The award recognises the work that the RNIB initiated in partnership with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), as well as other charities, to ensure that blind and partially sighted people had access to food and essentials.

Commenting on the support, CEO of the RNIB, Matt Stringer, explained: “Coronavirus turned everyone’s world upside down, but people with sight loss also faced challenges with social distancing and the physical changes made to streets, shop layouts and processes. Calls to the RNIB’s Helpline reached more than 1000 a day at the height of the initial national lockdown, with a high number of callers unable to buy food in stores or secure online delivery slots.”

Stringer said he was “extremely proud” of the RNIB’s rapid response in launching initiatives to tackle the problems blind and partially sighted people faced in accessing food and essentials.

The charity’s work through the DEFRA scheme enabled 350 blind and partially sighted people to secure priority online delivery slots with supermarkets. In addition, the charity said that over four million employees across the UK had been supported through its tailored guidance.

The RNIB thanked organisations that helped fund its COVID-19 response, including Standard Chartered Bank, the Department for Health and Social Care, Mind and the People’s Postcode Lottery.