Local charity Tameside Sight to close after 17 years due to lack of financial support
Wednesday 2nd May 2018 @ 12:24 by Tom Greggan
Dukinfield News Tameside

A local charity that has been supporting Tameside’s blind and partially-sighted for 17 years is to close for good later this year.

Tameside Sight, a Community Support Project based in Dukinfield, will shut down on June 30th, mainly due to a lack of financial support.

Tameside Sight has been dedicated to improving the lives of visually impaired people in the Tameside area by providing emotional and practical support through a range of services, offering information and advocacy for people when they need it most to ensure that no one faced sight loss alone.

Their team of volunteers help with odd jobs and letter reading and guiding people to medical appointments.

The Community Support Project provide free support to over 1000 people with sight loss, as well as their families and carers. The project has evolved to meet the needs of the beneficiaries, who are often amongst the most vulnerable people in the community.

The project also provides Visual Impairment Awareness Training to local organisations. The training is provided so that local organisations can improve their services for people with reduced vision.

After more than 25 years service between them, Project Coordinators Glenis Lee and Jill Doidge will now be made redundant. Jill said: “There are no other support services like this for visually impaired people in Tameside. The Councils Visual Impairment Team is down to two members of staff and their budget has been cut too. We are very worried about all the people that will be left with no practical or emotional support.”

Service-user Peter Lewis, from Hyde, lost his sight in his 40s. He says that Tameside Sight has been an invaluable lifeline to him. “The Community Support Project has always been there for me,” he said. “No matter what problem I have, they always sort me out. Just knowing that they are at the end of the phone if I need help is reassuring. I don’t know what I will do without them.”

Ian Jones of Tameside Talking News also lamented the closure. He said: “It is a great loss because Tameside Sight do a grand job. They have been referring listeners to us for as far back as I can remember.”