We are super excited in the Paycare office this month as we officially introduce one of our latest Community Partners to you lovely readers – The Beacon Centre.
If you haven’t heard of the Beacon Centre already, it is a well-established local charity which provides support and advice to visually impaired people living across the Black Country, Staffordshire and parts of Shropshire.
The Beacon Centre provides a range of services including activity programmes, life skills, digital and IT training, health and wellbeing, low vision advice, residential services, and domiciliary care in the community services.
Did you know – in the Black Country alone, there are over 36,000 people living with sight loss and this figure is set to double to some 72,000 by 2050 – astonishing, right?
At their Health and Wellbeing centres in Sedgley, Staffordshire and Stourbridge, the charity helps people with visual impairments to maintain their independence, by helping them learn new skills, such as cookery and using IT equipment.
They also provide a wide range of social activities, such as arts and crafts, sporting events and exercise classes; activities that many of their customers thought they could never take part in again after losing their sight – how brilliant is that?
Cyclist and Beacon Centre supporter, Alf Gretton, explained:
“I first started going to the Beacon Centre six years ago when I began to lose my eyesight. It is a wonderful organisation, offering care and support to local people who are living with sight loss. I have always been a really keen cyclist, so when I was asked by the centre if I would like to go on the back of a tandem, I was delighted. Clive and I set up a tandem club at the Beacon Centre a year ago and it has proven very popular indeed; I am very grateful to Clive for giving me and other visually impaired cycling enthusiasts the opportunity to get back on to bikes. We now have five tandem bikes and are able to go out cycling each week with guide riders.”
Even better, the charity also has an opticians at their Sedgley base, which is open to all to attend, with profits being re-invested back to support the charity – giving back to charity and the community is something which is very close to our hearts here at Paycare!
There is even a Beacon mobile advice service, the Beacon Bus, which visits locations throughout the region, providing free advice and support to members of the public who have questions and concerns regarding sight issues. Regular drop in sessions are held at libraries, community centres and shopping centres to raise awareness of sight loss and provide free advice and support.
As an organisation, the Beacon Centre strive to be needed and not needy, we are able to provide training to businesses and community groups to help them be more aware, informed and accessible for staff and customers with sight loss.
What an incredible charity!
It’s great to understand how the Beacon Centre support those with sight loss and visual impairments to maintain their independence and live life to the fullest.
Be sure to check back in on our Health Tips for You blogs for The Beacon Centre’s upcoming guest blog in September, which will provide interesting facts and top tips in support of National Eye Health Week (23rd – 29th September) – it’s not one to miss!
We are super excited to continue working with these guys in the future, as the latest addition to our Community Partners. In the meantime – if you’d like to learn more about the charity, the services they provide and how you can help and support them, head to their fantastic website www.beaconvision.org