OPTiC update: August 2013
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OPTiC continues to impact on our beneficiaries beginning with the empowerment courses highlighted in earlier posts through to ongoing support via Staying Active and peer support groups.
Recent evidence of this was documented at the ‘Finding the Right Words’ (emotional support) workshop lead by Action in July:
‘Bit scary, but glad I participated.’
‘Good to meet others in similar situations. Learned loads.’
‘So, so, so helpful emotionally. Knowledge on everything for your sight problem.’
‘The whole of the 2 days were most enjoyable.’
‘Would be a positive experience for anyone else.’
‘I have enjoyed and benefitted from this course. Keep it up.’
The project also supports the Beneficiary Action Group (BAG) to challenge the status quo in terms of current service provision in Staffordshire and York. BAG is currently looking at the lack of an Information desk at Stafford Hospital – an issue close to the hearts of local people with sight loss.
With the needs of our beneficiaries’ central to the project, we took on board feedback from Staying Active club members, some of whom prefer to establish a lunch/social club rather than general activities club. With this in mind, a letter is being developed to send to members setting out our service offer to club members.
- Since the last project update in June, OPTiC has taken a big leap forward in becoming sustainable. With the Partnership expanding to incorporate new referral sources including the Royal Voluntary Service, Community Café, Royal British Legion and a retirement home, more people are entering into the project leading to an ever increasing number of beneficiaries receiving the support they need and in turn supporting others.
OPTiC’s The Word
- Marketing and publicity activities continue to go well. We have featured in York Press and the Ophthalmic Public Health Network, as well as Insight Radio once again and Tamworth Radio. The Kings Fund also tweeted about OPTiC.
Reaching our target audience
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- OPTiC is successfully reaching older people with unsupported sight loss. We continue to actively pursue opportunities to engage with people from BME, faith and LGBT communities and hope to report some successes in the next update.
Overcoming key challenges
- Two key members of staff left the project in June, however having experienced recruitment issues early on in the project, partners responded quickly to the challenge by engaging Amy and Jayne – the right people for this project.
Additional funding and OPTiC branding
- In the next quarter, we will be reviewing whether adaptations to the project are required and whether this would necessitate additional funding.
- We continue to identify the project via the use of the OPTiC lettering on all project tools such as leaflets and posters as well as press releases and articles, and the acronym is used during radio broadcasts.