Yorkshire Coast Sight Support have 80 ish regular visually impaired local attendees to our resource centre. Some come to our social groups held 4 days per week, others call in when passing for a chat or advice the remainder call in when they need help assistance training or support. What we miss is the opportunity to get as many members as possible in one place at the same time to reaffirm friendships, make new friends, chat, enjoy smile. The closest we get is our Christmas lunch with 50 ish attending the closest we have ever been was a fish and chip lunch funded through a group of young fundraisers with 80 attendees. We would love to do this again the smiles and laughter were unforgettable.
A lack of social inclusion is not only common with anyone with a visual impairment in our area, is a national problem. COVID has brought new levels of lack of confidence economic problems has resulted in reduced levels of public transport and a fear to "not buy what we don't need" to quote one of our regulars. We have worked with our clients to rebuild confidence our regular attendee levels are back to pre COVID but we need a lever a carrot something special to get our remaining clients out, mixing chatting and laughing. Some have forgotten what its like to chat, laugh and smile its so long since they were with friends. Our goal is to have an unforgettable event hear laughter see smiles.
The small team at Yorkshire Coast Sight Support have worked hard to ensure our centre is safe, clean, comfortable and our visitors feel safe. Following COVID many of our regular attenders took a lot of persuading to come out of isolation. Through phone calls from our team and the people attending our social groups our overall client numbers have steadily grown and are now back at 98% of our pre COVID numbers and our social groups back to 75%. We would now like to give all our clients a special treat. Our last Fish and Chip lunch in 2018 has been talked about almost as an historic event one we would like to repeat in early 2023.