Sight loss charity relaunches as Hartlepool Vision Support after serving town for a century
The future looks bright for a Hartlepool sight loss charity following a successful relaunch after 100 years.
Hartlepool Blind Welfare Association, which is celebrating its centenary year, has changed its name and branding to Hartlepool Vision Support.
It opened the doors at its new base in Cafe One77, York Road, for their relaunch and to raise awareness about their services.
The day was well supported by partner organisations including Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Royal National Institute of Blind People and saw a steady stream of visitors.
Barbara McLeod, manager of Hartlepool Vision Support, said: “It was a fantastic day. We had a massive turnout and the atmosphere was great.
“We had a lot of great feedback from people who were very impressed with our new branding and new name.
“People felt it was much more appropriate for people living with sight loss as opposed to the old name.”
The charity moved to Cafe One77 last October from its previous office in Avenue Road which had become unsuitable for their needs and costly to maintain.
They decided to change the name to better reflect the support it offers and that people do not have to be blind to be affected by sight loss.
The open day featured a display about the history of the organisation as well as examples of artwork made by members.
It was also attended by Hartlepool Borough Council, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and its Community Stroke Team.
Makers of sight loss technology demonstrated their products.
And as a result of the open day, Specsavers and Middleton Grange shopping centre have offered to work more closely with the charity.
Barbara said: “It will help us to raise our profile and get more people coming to us.”
Hartlepool Vision Support is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and around 500 people use their services including home visiting, IT classes tailored to members’ individual needs, sports activities, crafts, cookery lessons and outings.
“We have a really active schedule,” added Barbara.
For more information see Hartlepool Vision Support’s Facebook page or visit the website vision-support.org.uk