Beacon has confirmed it will take over the day to day management of the Hanley Resource Centre, on Albion Street in Stoke-on-Trent which supports visually impaired people.
Beacon will be refurbishing the Centre during the first two weeks of April meaning it will temporarily close from 1st – 15th April. A relaunch party will follow soon after at the end of the month to celebrate.
The charity will also be inviting members of the region’s visually impaired communities to a series of engagement events over the coming months to share its vision for services in Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent, as well as gather views and information direct from the people who will be using them.
The sessions will discuss ideas around the creation of a dedicated hub for visually impaired people to act as a shared resource with partner organisations, the best ways Beacon can reach even more people in the community as well as existing and potential new services.
Stephen Terry, Beacon’s Regional Manager, said; “We know that the services offered at the Resource Centre are vitally important for the local visually impaired community. But we are also aware that there is scope for improvement and a need for further understanding of what the specific wishes are for those living with sight loss in the region.
“We plan to speak to as many visually impaired people, partners and supporters as possible over the coming months to gather those views so we can combine them with Beacon’s existing expertise and knowledge to deliver an outstanding service to the people of Staffordshire and Stoke-On-Trent.”
Beacon CEO, Lisa Cowley, added: “Ultimately, we want to create a society where individuals value and protect their sight, and where visual impairment does not limit or determine opportunity. We have a rich heritage of supporting people living with sight loss in the Black Country, and we will bring this wealth of experience to Staffordshire.
“We will work in partnership with the region’s sight loss organisations and gather the views of the local community to ensure we can establish what currently works and equally, what doesn’t, so we can help improve the lives of visually impaired people in the region and deliver a range of services people can be proud of. It will be an ongoing process, but we will make sure we keep everyone involved updated on our progress.”
National charity, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), remains committed to supporting Beacon as a key partner and has been working with Beacon in order to reach more people living with sight loss.
The Update Talking Newspaper service will continue to be based at the Centre and Beacon is also in discussions with Staffordshire Sight Loss Association, who already deliver a range of services in the area, with a view to working in partnership to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from the hub.
Details of Beacon’s planned focus groups will be announced shortly on www.beaconvision.org. Beacon is also looking for volunteers to help support the focus groups. Anyone who may be interested can contact firstname.lastname@example.org