Sight Scotland is one of Scotland’s oldest charities, celebrating 230 years this year. We run a wide range of services for people of all ages with visual impairment, ranging from the Royal Blind School and educational outreach services, residential care for young adults, support for people in the community through rehabilitation services and a helpline, and the transcription of a range of documents into alternative formats. Our sister charity, Sight Scotland Veterans, was originally established to support soldiers returning from World War 1 who were blinded by mustard gas and today supports any veteran with a visual impairment, regardless of the cause. The majority have age related sight loss, such as Macular Degeneration.
Together, the charities also fund medical research into the causes of sight loss through partnerships with external bodies including the Royal College of Surgeons and the University of Edinburgh. This is an area that we are aiming to expand on further in the future. Through policy and campaigning, we take the issues that are of most concern to our service users to influence politicians. Strong stakeholder engagement is a key priority for us so that we can build effective partnerships to deliver services, target research funding where it will have the most impact, and to ensure that tackling vision loss is seen as a priority by politicians, the media and the wider public.
The two charities operate together under one Chief Executive, Executive Team and Board as well as sharing head office functions, however they have individual finances and constitutions. Our joint strategic priorities are:
Over the past few years we have established new services in the community and through digital channels as well as expanding on our delivery through local authority contracts. We have also increased investment in profile raising and external engagement since our re-brand and name changes in 2020 to ensure that we are clearly visible to our wide range of audiences and are seen as a key player in the field of visual impairment.
Moving forward we would like to further align the services our two charities offer and the Director of Operations will be crucial to deliver this. We have also embarked on our digital transformation and the Directors of Technology and Finance will be key to further developing this strand of our work.
For more information about our work visit www.sightscotland.org.uk and view the documentation below.