Here at KVIN we are celebrating because we have been shortlisted and just won the Develop award from Visionary!
We have won this award for our hard work to quickly shift to virtual services during Covid-19 so that we could continue to support everyone.
The staff team would like to thank our fabulous volunteers for embracing a new way of operating and also our service users who have got to grips with the ‘virtual’ world so that we could continue to support them.
Heres our award nomination;
Developing services to build a virtual community
Kirklees Visual Impairment Network are a small service user led charity in West Yorkshire. Usually they run peer support groups and tech support sessions. When lockdown was imminent, the staff and volunteer team worked quickly together to adapt the way this support could continue to be delivered virtually. They set up Zoom chat groups, telephone support and made sure useful information was shared more widely through What’sApp and social media. They have developed a podcast and e-newsletter to further ensure their community gets useful information about sight loss, Covid-19 and lockdown and ways to maintain good wellbeing.
Being able to continue to operate and support their community means Kirklees Visual Impairment Network are able to ensure their community feel connected, keep busy with the activities they can join in with, know ways to help with their own wellbeing and mental health and know where to get further support and keep updated. Here’s what some service users have said about their new way of working since March 2020;
‘Joining KVIN is the best thing I’ve done this year!’
‘Absolutely love the zoom chats, they are so helpful, we talk about all sorts from tech to day to day things. Under the circumstance it’s really helpful just hearing everyone’s voices and feeling like we’re all there for each other, it feels normal’.
‘KVIN is about friendship and supporting each other especially at this critical situation.’
‘If I had to sum up how KVIN is helping at the moment I would say – bringing people together when they have to be apart.’
The panel saw the considerable impact, despite their small size, Kirklees Visual Impairment Network have delivered for their community.
Heres some information about the awards from Visionary;
The Visionary Annual Awards aim to recognise and celebrate the impactful services delivered by sight loss charities and the positive difference you make to the lives of blind and partially sighted people. Highlighting the achievements of local charities helps share good practice across the sector and draws attention to the talent, expertise and impact of the local sight loss sector.
Develop award: For this award we want to hear about a service or initiative your organisation has developed that has benefited visually impaired people locally. This could include where your organisation has developed its’ services in response to COVID-19. This award is open to Visionary members only and we want to hear about innovative and creative examples that will inspire others.