We are on an incredible journey which, month by month, has seen OPTiC gather momentum and take flight! With the majority of outputs for Q1 and 2 either on target or complete, the Silver Dream Team is homing in on our project outcomes – which are that:
- Older people can demonstrate a better understanding of how to manage their eye health to prevent sight loss and confidence in seeking support.
- Older people can demonstrate an increased awareness, take-up personal choice of services and support available to help them cope with life-changing transitions.
- Older people are actively contributing to making a difference to the lives of others through peer support or campaigning activities, resulting in improved confidence and self-esteem and a reduction in social isolation.
Partnership working – firing on all cylinders
- We are delighted to welcome new colleagues Christine Moore (Staying Active Assistant, Age UK) and Tracy Wilson (Project Officer, York Blind and Partially Sighted Society). Both are in post and our staff recruitment drive is now complete.
- OPTiCs Beneficiary Action Group (BAG) has been established! Comprised of older people with sight loss who are engaged with OPTiC, the overarching role of a BAG member is to be the communication link with other beneficiaries throughout their OPTiC journey of support to empowerment. This marks a significant milestone in the project as BAG’s contribution will be pivotal to OPTiCs success.
- It’s all hands to the pump for those volunteers who are now either assigned to or actively involved in key areas of the project, which includes evaluation monitoring, empowerment courses, referral process and the Change Exchange programme.
- With Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service offering eye health advice and screening to over 4,200 people and Action for Blind People providing support to 100 older people, we’re on a steady course to meet our project milestones and indicators!
Collaboration with other Silver Dreams projects
- The podcast OPTiC recorded with ‘Health Wealth and Happiness’ in February went extremely well. The original idea was for Sonal Rughani (Optometrist and Eye Health Advisor, RNIB) to conduct an interview with Charlie Witzel (Terrence Higgins Trust). The combination of their expertise however resulted in a master class on links between HIV and sight loss – which healthcare professionals and wider audiences will find informative. The audio file is currently being edited and will be available to download from this site shortly.
- Sight Support Derbyshire recently attended Action for Blind People’s inaugural ‘Living with Sight Loss’ 2 day Empowerment course, which took place on the 8th March 2013(look out for a detailed account of the course – coming soon!). They will also be attending an ‘Eyes Right’ training course organised for the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, taking place on the 23rd April 2013 – in York.