I am delighted to now be able to confirm that from 1st April 2022 we have been awarded the Isle of Wight Sensory Contract. The contract will be completed under the Wight Sense team.
Wight Sense will be providing specialist sensory assessment, mobility training and support to Island residents. Everyone here, at the Charity, is very excited that we can now provide the full range of services to our members.
The service provides individual home based visits, mobility training, practical help and a full range of referrals and support to allow people to remain independent and confident in their daily lives.
The Sensory Service contract, here on the Island, is a dual sensory loss service that means Wight Sense will also be offering this service to people living with both sight and hearing loss.
The majority of our members living with Sight Loss have age related conditions, and the majority of people living with hearing loss are age related conditions too.
There is therefore a substantial cross over of people whom we already support as they are living with both sight and hearing loss too.
Being able to offer full help and support to these members into their daily living is something we are excited to be able to do.
The Charity will continue its work of 155 years in supporting people living with Sight Loss with the same activities, newsletter, information and support that we currently offer but will now also be providing this additional service through the Wight Sense team.
As a charity, we are very excited to be given the chance to complete this service for our current members and indeed to be able to start to provide help to other Islanders living with a sensory impairment.
We have produced some questions and answers below which we hope will be of help, but if anyone would like to ask anything further please do not hesitate to get in touch.
CEO Sight for Wight
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. What exactly is the new contract?
It is the Isle of Wight Council Sensory Service contract for Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired Islanders. It provides specialised assessments, support, training and onward referrals to anyone living with a sight or hearing impairment.
2. When will it start?
The contract is currently being run by the RNID until the 31st March. The new contract will commence on 1st April 2022
3. Why; hearing impairment isn’t our area of expertise?
Actually, we have staff, trustees and members with experience of hearing impairment and our CEO is, herself, hearing impaired.
Having run the Sensory Contract in the past, we do not underestimate the commitment needed, but we know as an Island based Charity with 155 years’ experience of helping people, we can continue to do just that.
4. What will it mean for Sight for Wight?
From 1982-2014 we ran the Sensory Contract for the IW Council providing a similar level of service provision for visually impaired Islanders. Our work already runs alongside that of the RNID and we complete a large proportion of the work needed by the contract already, hence complementing the RNID for the same clients.
The quality management and person-centred approach required by this contract is therefore already built into every policy, decision, service provision and ethos of the Charity.
The 2020 Survey and 2020 strategy that followed means we now work alongside 13 other organisations to provide a one stop shop for our members. The addition of this contract adds to this.
5. How many members will we gain?
People undergoing the Wight Sense assessment and service will receive this defined service. People living with sight loss will then have the opportunity to become members of the Charity.
6. Will staff lose their jobs?
The staff currently managing the contract are all transferring into Wight Sense under TUPE bringing with them all their experience and knowledge. Caron, a current Charity staff member, is also going to be joining them. Wight Sense will be based here at Millbrooke House.
7. What will the new contract cost?
The new contract is paid for as a statutory payment from the Isle of Wight Council. Charity funds will not be affected.
8. Is this money to be split equally between hearing and sight?
The amounts spent is for HI and VI services as the need arises.
9. Will it reduce the services we offer for the VI?
No. Current service provision will continue to improve in line with the ethos that has led us to reshape the Charity over the last 24 months, adding to our 150 + years’ experience seeking out what people need and fulfilling it.
10. How can you guarantee it won’t reduce current services?
The Wight Sense contract is a paid for service that is funded entirely separately from the Charity’s own funds. Any resource, for example office space, used by Wight Sense will be paid for by Wight Sense, it will not be paid for from Charity funds.