VISUALLY-impaired people suffering from loneliness and social isolation in South Bradford are being helped to build their independence, thanks to a Lottery grant.
The Holme Wood Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) group has been awarded £6,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to run its Inspired Project, which aims to reduce social isolation, as well as raising awareness of the disability within the community.
Specialist cooking classes, craft sessions and motivational speeches will form part of a new programme of activities to be launched next month.
VIP Group Treasurer Carole Topham said that as a blind person, she felt very isolated, but the group had enabled her to make friends who understood her condition.
“Hobbies can be difficult to maintain through sight loss and with this project, we hope members will be able to learn new interests and carry them on at home, she said. “ We have a lot of fun because we can laugh at problems we have but that others can’t really understand. This gives us a release and makes us feel better about ourselves and our lives.”
The group, which meets every Monday at Morrell Court, Holme Wood, now wants to attract new members from among the 200-plus people registered as blind across the local GP practices.
Chairman Paul Robinson said: “The aim of the new project is to help people build their independence and we hope that, by joining in the activities, they will then gain the confidence to get involved in other aspects of community life.
“I first started coming to the VIP group when I knew I was losing my eyesight and found it a great support at a very frightening time. Rather than dwelling on your problems, you are able to talk them through with other people in the same position.”
The group is open to anyone aged 25 or upwards in the Bradford district with a visual impairment or closely involved with someone who has a visual impairment.
For those living in the immediate area there is an access bus to get to the centre. For further information contact Paul Robinson on 01274 689335 or 07874 872897.