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Useful Vision are thrilled to announce we have received a £1000 donation from AkzoNobel, a world-renowned paint manufacturing company. Toby Routledge, a process engineer at AkzoNobel and the son of Useful Vision Trustees Mike & Angela Routledge, applied for the grant as part of the AkzoNobel Community Fund, which is aimed at supporting individuals and charities making a positive impact on the lives of others.

Two boys kayaking on the River Tees

                                                                                                     A Useful Vision kayaking session on the River Tees

James Kavanagh, Regional Commercial Director of AkzoNobel said: ‘We hope this donation enables Useful Vision to provide vital help to many families in times of need throughout the cost-of-living crisis. The AkzoNobel Community Fund is a helping hand and our way of giving back to the community in which our people live and work.’

As a charity that provides support to families with visually impaired children, we understand just how challenging the cost-of-living crisis has been for many of our families.

Visually impaired children often experience financial disadvantages due to a range of factors. Parents and Carers of visually impaired children may need to take time off work to care for their child, which can result in a loss of income. It can be difficult for families to cover the extra costs associated with raising a visually impaired child, such as purchasing specialist equipment including home adaptations and assistive technology, paying for additional transport, and covering additional healthcare, support, or education needs.

At Useful Vision, we recognise these challenges and aim to provide support through our events and activities, which we offer free of charge. By creating opportunities for visually impaired children, we hope to reduce financial barriers and help families access experiences that they may not otherwise be able to afford.

Two girls enjoying a sledge ride at Hall Hill Farm

                                                                                                           Children enjoying a sledge ride at Hall Hill Farm

That’s why we are so grateful for AkzoNobel’s donation, which will allow us to continue our vital work. This donation will go directly towards funding events and activities such as:

Sports: We provide a range of inclusive sports activities for visually impaired children, including goalball, football, swimming, and cricket. These activities help children get active, gain confidence, and develop teamwork and social skills.

Creative Workshops: We offer regular workshops in arts, crafts, and music, where children can explore their creativity and learn new skills, such as painting, tactile and sensory crafts, and music making.

Day Trips: We organise day trips to local attractions, often with exclusive access, allowing families to experience popular destinations in a more inclusive and supportive environment. These trips may include visits to museums, wildlife parks, and other family-friendly attractions.

Adventure Activities: We also offer exciting excursions for visually impaired children and their families, providing them with the opportunity to get away from home and try something new, including high-octane activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and zip-lining.

By providing these opportunities, we help to improve the lives of visually impaired children and their families, enabling them to participate fully in their communities and reach their full potential. We believe that every child should have access to the same opportunities and experiences as their peers. We are dedicated to providing families with the resources and support they need to help their children thrive, and we know that every little bit helps.

The £1000 donation from AkzoNobel will go a long way towards helping us to achieve our goals. With this support, we can continue to offer exciting and engaging activities that allow visually impaired children to learn, socialise, and have fun.

On behalf of everyone at Useful Vision, we would like to express our gratitude to Toby Routledge and AkzoNobel for this generous donation, which will make a real difference in the lives of the families we support. Thank you, AkzoNobel, for your commitment to social responsibility and for your support of our work at Useful Vision!