2019 will see London Vision establish itself as the first sight loss organisation dedicated to serving blind and partially sighted people across all of London’s 32 boroughs. London Vision is focused on forging a society in which blind and partially sighted people living, working and studying in London are able to access equal opportunities. London Vision will work to increase awareness of the issues facing blind and partially sighted people and foster a better networked sight loss community, allowing more people to be reached with greater access to peer support.
There is currently a wide disparity in service provision for London’s estimated 194,000 blind and partially sighted people. Some boroughs in the capital are well served by statutory and voluntary sector organisations, while others are marked by a shortage of services. London Vision was set up in 2018 to address this disparity, and throughout the past year has worked with partners to join up services already in place across London for blind and partially sighted people. In 2019, London Vision will continue to work to address this through a combination of London wide and local activity delivered by teams covering specific local boroughs. This will build on the work of East London Vision (ELVis) and South East London Vision (SELVis) who will be incorporated into London Vision.
The teams will adopt the following names and serve the following boroughs:
- London Vision East will cover Barking and Dagenham, City and Hackney, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest
- London Vision West will serve the boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Harrow, Hillingdon and Hounslow
- London Vision South West will cover Croydon, Merton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Kingston, and Richmond
- London Vision South East will serve the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bromley, Bexley and Greenwich
- London Vision North and Central West will cover the boroughs of Camden, Islington, Enfield, Haringey, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, and Kensington and Chelsea.
London Vision believes in putting the needs of blind and partially sighted people at the heart of everything it does. Each London area will have a Stakeholder Advisory Group to ensure that local blind and partially sighted people can influence London Vision. London Vision will also have its own board of trustees.
London Vision will also continue to coordinate three London-wide networks that facilitate connections between blind and partially sighted people in the capital. These are:
- The London Vision Impairment Forum, providing a platform for sight loss professionals to network and share information about their services
- The Working Age Forum offering a relaxed and sociable environment for people of a working age who are visually impaired and looking for tips to get in to work, or to progress in their careers.
- The Student Network, which was recently launched, connecting blind and partially sighted students in London, holding events with guest speakers to talk about inspiring and relevant topics such as public speaking internships.
Partnership working is a fundamental part of London Vision’s make-up. We will build on existing partnerships developed over the past few years and pursue new collaborations to ensure we reach as many blind and partially sighted people across London as possible. We look forward to working together with old and new partners to create a more inclusive and accessible city.