A Group working to reduce social isolation among visually impaired people in Bradford is helping more people than ever before after receiving lottery funding.
Holmewood Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) group has seen its membership increase by 50 per cent since it was awarded £6,000 by the Big Lottery Fund to run its new Inspired Project, which is specifically aimed at reducing social isolation, as well as raising awareness of the disability within the community.
The project has seen the group run a programme of activities including craft sessions, specialist cookery classes, multiple day trips and even a week-long holiday to Wales.
Chairman Paul Robinson said: “With a visual impairment it is nerve-wracking going to places where you’ve not been before and you don’t know your way around. I certainly wouldn’t have gone to York without the group.
“Although the Lottery funding was only for the year, it has given us extra time to build up a fund from our membership fees, for the first time ever – so next year we should still be able to have as much fun as we had this year.”
VIP member Joan Greenway, 84, from Holme Wood said: “I’ve been visually impaired since birth and you can feel cut off from people. The VIP group are smashing company – our treasurer Carole is wonderful and rings up every week to see how we are - and I miss it when it’s not on.”
Another member, Brenda Hamilton, 66, said being with the group helped her to feel safe while out and about.
She added: “I’m also a wheelchair user, which means that for me, going out is often just going straight from the flat into the bus – so it’s wonderful to experience simple pleasures like enjoying the fresh air and feeling the breeze on your face.”
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.
It meets every Monday at Morrell Court, Holme Wood, Bradford. For more information contact Mr Robinson on 01274 689335.