Charity marks 165 years

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Cornwall’s oldest charity is set to mark its 165th birthday this week by encouraging people to ‘be bright for sight’.

iSightCornwall, which is based in Truro but supports people with visual impairments across the county, will mark the milestone on Friday (Sep 17). To celebrate the big day the charity has invited schools, businesses, youth groups and Cornish residents to wear something bright.

iSightCornwall chief executive, Carole Theobold, explained: “Bright colours are particularly important for people with limited sight as they are easier to be seen. We are asking people across Cornwall to show their support by being bright for sight whether they’re working from home, in an office, at a school or out and about in the community.”

The charity was created in 1856 to help Cornish miners who lost their sight due to accidents and the dangerous working conditions, but they now support anybody in Cornwall who is blind or has a visual impairment.

Local residents may remember the charity being called the Cornwall Blind Association, or even the Cornwall County Association for the Blind, but in 2015 the organisation rebranded to iSightCornwall to be more inclusive to people of all stages of sight loss.

Over the years, iSightCornwall has continued to grow and adapt to the needs of their members and now offers a wide range of services including low vision appointments and advice; help with assistive technology such as electronic magnifiers and specialist computer software; benefits advise and help; social and activity clubs across the county and more.

During the pandemic, many blind and visually impaired people were left isolated and cut off from the vital services they relied on, iSightCornwall worked to support these people by setting up a telephone befriending service and were even awarded the Visionary Share Award for their low vision telephone assessment which was created by team member Shannon Smith in order to help people access essential low vision aids and advise when face-to-face contact was impossible.

To take part in the Bright for Sight day, simply wear your brightest outfit, accessories or hairstyle and then share photos on the charity’s social media or by emailing info@isightcornwall.org.uk. Any donations collected during the day will be gratefully received and will help fund iSightCornwall’s vital services.

For more information on how to donate or take part, visit www.isightcornwall.org.uk or call 01872 261110.