Eden Sight Support (ESS) was founded in 1979 and is a registered charity with a formal constitution. Its purpose is to help vision-impaired people in the district of Eden (the main towns of which are Penrith , Appleby and Alston). It operates from a rented ground floor office in The Resource Centre, Sandgate, Penrith,next to the bus station. At the present time, the office opens from 11 AM to 3 PM each Tuesday, with an answer phone service regularly monitored for messages.
ESS is currently receiving a small grant from Cumbria County Council to organise and run a support group for people with Dual sensory Loss (DSL) and their carers. Income is raised from the local general public through a variety of traditional sources: box and local instore collections, events and seeking funding from local and national funders organisations.
Eden Sight Support has a database of about 140 visually impaired people in Eden who use its services from time to time. However official statistics indicate that there are some 300 registered blind and partially-sighted people in Eden. Furthermore, it is widely recognised that at least a similar number of people experience severe sight problems but are not officially registered.
Eden Sight Support has adopted the following Mission Statement:-
Eden Sight Support exists to provide support for vision impaired people in the district of Eden. ESS believes Blind and Partially sighted people should not be disadvantaged through disability, low income or lack of knowledge and should be made aware of:
- Support through home visits, subsidised and personalised transport ,and access to social activities,in order to minimise the feeling of isolation and loneliness
- Gain access to Training in new skills – especially computer and internet skills
- Awareness of goods and services which will minimise the impact of their visual-impairment.- for example good quality magnifiers and books in audio format etc
- Signpost people to available Help provided by statutory authorities in relation to their sight loss