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SeeAbility’s eyecare work shortlisted for the Charity Awards 2021

SeeAbility’s eyecare work shortlisted for the Charity Awards 2021

SeeAbility is delighted to announce that it has made the shortlist for this year’s Charity Awards, the longest-running and most prestigious awards scheme in the charity sector.

SeeAbility has been shortlisted in the Healthcare and Medical Research category for its Children in Focus project, which has delivered sight tests and glasses to over 1500 children in special schools. The evidence from the project has now provided the template for a new national NHS service being rolled out in England’s special schools, reaching thousands more children.

The Charity Awards, which announced its shortlist today (7 May), is the sector’s most highly-regarded excellence recognition scheme.

All 27 shortlisted charities this year have been judged by an independent panel of sector leaders as having demonstrated best practice in leadership and management, from which other organisations can learn.

The project is part of SeeAbility’s national public health programme to prevent and address sight loss in people with learning disabilities, who are much more at risk of having a sight problem. After delivering over 3500 sight tests in special schools, and dispensing over 1700 pairs of glasses, Children in Focus helped establish proof to NHS England that there was a huge unmet need for eye care amongst children with learning disabilities, and make the case for the NHS to commission and fund a new countrywide “one stop shop” eye care service for special schools providing sight tests and dispensing glasses in school.

This will bring early eye care to over 120,000 children most at risk of experiencing a sight problem, overcoming the many inequalities, barriers and disjointed pathways they face in getting the eye care they need, and ensure parents and teachers have the user friendly information they need on what the child can see.

The ten category winners, plus the recipients of the Overall Award for Excellence and the Daniel Phelan Award for Outstanding Achievement, will be announced at a live-streamed online awards ceremony on 10 June.

Lisa Donaldson, SeeAbility’s Head of Eye Health said: “We are beaming about being shortlisted for the Healthcare and Medical Research category in the Charity Awards. I’m so proud of our team that have worked so hard to deliver an equal right to sight for children in special schools, and of course we’re wishing good luck to all our fellow nominees too. “

Matthew Nolan, chief executive of Civil Society Media, which organises the Charity Awards, congratulated all the shortlisted charities on making the highly-coveted shortlist. He said:

“In the spring of last year, we took the very difficult decision to put the 2020 Charity Awards on ice, until we had clearer visibility on how the pandemic would play out.
“Throughout the year we watched with dismay as the charity sector was buffeted by a triple-whammy of losing millions of pounds of fundraising income, being forced to re-engineer services to comply with lockdown and social distancing restrictions, and facing big spikes in demand for those services.
“But 12 months on, we are so impressed with how the sector has risen to the challenges and responded magnificently to the health, social care and economic crisis that
Covid-19 has wrought. There is no better time to celebrate charities and their incredible work, so we have decided to resurrect the 2020 awards and honour the applications that were submitted. The nominees on this year’s shortlist are large and small charities who are truly leaders in their field.”

Andy Pitt, head of charities – London at Rathbones, overall partner of the Charity Awards, said:

“The Charity Awards celebrate leadership, good governance, innovation and excellence. The past year has brought huge challenges for the charity sector, but it has also highlighted the importance of its contribution, without which people around the world would be significantly weakened. We are delighted to support these awards and to honour the brilliant work of UK charities large and small.”

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