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About Wales Council of the Blind

"I have found all my contacts with WCB over the years to be so useful and professional." - Rehabilitation Officer for VI.

Wales Council of the Blind is the umbrella agency representing vision impairment within Wales. We work to campaign, lobby and support the improvement of services for people with sight loss. WCB provides a platform vision impaired people to raise their concerns and wishes.

WCB's Articles of Association sets out a way of letting their members contribute to setting priorities and work streams. An important part of the new structure is the creation of Regional Steering Groups to inform WCB's work. The four new Regional Steering Groups will be established across Wales, covering North, West, South East and South Central.

Each group intends to offer a platform for local clubs, charities, statutory services and people with sight loss to get together and contribute to directing the work and resources of WCB. It's likely that priorities may vary from region to region, and we want that to be reflected in the work of WCB.

WCB's Board of Trustees will include four representatives - one nominated from each of the four regional steering groups - to bring the views of the regions to the table.

What does Wales Council of the Blind do?

Latest WCB news.

Storm event on 29th May - Transitions & Transport

The next Storm event for young adults with sight loss is on 29th May.

Come and join the Storm team for a few hours to have a cuppa and share your stories and experiences of Transitions. We'd love to hear them good or bad! We will also be discussing the accessibility information around Public Transport, more to come on this soon.

For more information, contact Megan at megan@wcb-ccd.org.uk. To find out more about WCB's Storm project, visit the Storm website.

Save the date: Wales Eyecare Conference on 19th September

This year's Wales Eyecare Conference will be held on Thursday 19th September at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, Cardiff University, Maindy Road, Cathays, Cardiff CF24 4LU.

More information and a booking form will be available soon.

National Lottery Community Fund grant set to benefit over 500 blind children in England and Wales

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) has received more than £650,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund (formerly Big Lottery Fund) to extend its Family Support Service. The service will be delivered in collaboration with four partner organisations - Wales Council of the Blind, North Wales Society for the Blind, Vision Support and Kent Association for the Blind.

This funding, from the largest community funder in the UK, will transform the service, enabling many more families to cope with the challenges that the diagnosis brings, adjust positively and develop the knowledge and skills to encourage the best possible future for the child. From the earliest stages of a diagnosis, families will have access to a unique blend of tailored, one-to-one emotional and practical support that will ensure they have access to the help and information they need, whether that be therapeutic interventions, help with completing benefit applications or support from peer networks.

Together, the participating organisations will work with local professionals who have a direct impact on the lives of blind and partially sighted children to ensure that families are not isolated but are instead engaged with their communities at a time when they could be most vulnerable. The partnership will also work towards changes in the ways statutory services work with families affected by sight loss.

WCB welcomes continuation of SenCom service

Newport City Council has agreed to extend the Gwent SenCom service for children with sensory loss until at least 2022. The decision has been welcomed by parents, Wales Council of the Blind and other sight loss charities. Owen Williams, WCB's Director, issued the following statement:

'The sight loss sector in Wales has campaigned as a single voice against Newport’s decision to withdraw from SenCom. We are delighted that the Gwent authorities have decided to commit jointly to the continuation of the best practice SenCom regional service, until 2022.

'We will await the terms and conditions of the review and would like to see any review led by an impartial chair with no pre-determined agenda. We would like to see the chair have knowledge of SenCom and the invaluable services and support that they provide to children and young people across Gwent.

'We also hope that any review will enable proper consultation this time, so that children and their families and carers can make a meaningful contribution to the design of a specialist service that best meets their needs'.

You can read a report on the decision on the BBC website.

Latest issue of Roundup looks at sight loss and other conditions

The latest issue of WCB's Roundup is now available. The theme for this issue is sight loss which can arise from, or be complicated by, other conditions including stroke, diabetes, dementia, learning difficulties and Down's Syndrome.

We also have reports from our Regional Forum meetings, an update on Vision Support's new Community Empowerment model, and the latest from Storm, WCB's project for young adults with vision impairment.

You can read Roundup here. To read past issues of the magazine, click on the 'Roundup News' tab at the top of this screen.

WCB response to Welsh Government consultation 'Tackling Loneliness and Isolation'

Wales Council of the Blind has prepared a draft response to the Welsh Government's consultation 'Tackling Loneliness and Isolation'.

You can find out more, read the consultation document and our draft response in the Consultations section of our website. If you have any comments on our draft response, please let us know by Monday 14th January.


More information.