This shows the UK Government, Levelling Up, West Midlands Combined Authority, Beacon and Sandwell Visually Impaired logos.

TWO local sight loss charities have come together to launch a unique programme to help blind and partially sighted people improve their health and wellbeing, learn new skills, access learning opportunities, and find work.

The Beacon Centre for the Blind, which has been helping people to live well with sight loss for almost 150 years, is working in partnership with Sandwell Visually Impaired, a Sandwell-based organisation, managed and run by visually impaired people, as part of the Work to Wellbeing Project.

The two organisations, which support people to live independently with sight loss, have been funded through the Shared Prosperity Fund via Sandwell Council from the UK Government as part of Levelling Up.

They have received funding to help blind and partially sighted people break down some of the barriers they face in accessing their community, living independently, and finding work, learning, or volunteering opportunities.

In the first few months of the programme, more than 200 people have already been reached.

Jan Burns MBE, Health and Wellbeing Director at Beacon said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Sandwell Visually Impaired on this unique programme to enable blind and partially sighted people to live well with sight loss.

 “Our organisations are here to support people at whatever stage they are at in their sight loss journey and by coming together in partnership we can ensure a truly person-centred approach that puts the individual at the heart of what we do.”

Antony Averis, SVI Chair added: “We are pleased to have this opportunity to work in partnership with the Beacon Centre. As an organisation that has been run and led by blind and partially sighted people in Sandwell for almost 20 years, SVI is well-placed to support our community and understand their needs. Throughout this programme, SVI and Beacon will share our knowledge, expertise, and resources to enable people to get the most out of life in what can often be challenging circumstances.”

To find out more about the project you can call Sandwell Visually Impaired on 0121 525 4810 or email You can also call Beacon on 01902 880 111 or email

This graphic has a white background with six circular headshot style images of people on brightly coloured backgrounds. Underneath it reads employment and skills support for the blind and partially sighted community in black writing. There are also six logos from the various organisations involved in the project. </p>