The Homeward Straight

Hands

Support, evaluation, legacy – these are the key areas the Silver Dream Team is focussing on during February. We are also planning a Stakeholders event next month to mark the official closure of the project and to communicate project impact, learning and next steps.   

A snapshot of OPTIC’s progress against outcome levels

To the end of December 2013, we are delighted to report that over:

  •  30,000 older people have been offered health advice and screening.
  • 2,300 older people with sight loss have engaged with support.
  • 1,200 older people have stated they are more aware of the range of support available.
  • 500 older people with sight loss have been supported by peers in groups or by buddies.
  • 60 older people with sight loss have been involved in self-advocacy groups.

As identified by our Beneficiary Action Group (BAG) and a number of other beneficiaries, we have utilised a fund to support additional project work prioritised by them and in doing so have: 

  • Purchased a teleconferencing facility to link blind and partially sighted people across Staffordshire.
  • Purchased an iPad and Kindle specifically for hands on ‘how to use’ training sessions for people with sight loss.
  • Organised a 2 day training course to develop skills supporting the facilitation of future empowerment programmes and peer support activities.

Sustainability

The OPTiC programme is now sustainable. This has been achieved primarily through:

  • Partners pledging to continue working together to identify and support older people living with unsupported sight loss.
  • Established networks set up by beneficiaries to provide peer support and share knowledge.
  • OPTiC beneficiaries will continue to be supported through local services provided by Action for Blind People and Age UK Stafford and District.
  • Ongoing partnership working with Eye Clinic Liaison Officer (ECLO) at York Hospital.

 Extending OPTiC’s Reach  

OPTiC will continue to be promoted through an upcoming Stakeholder event and related publicity and media opportunities will continue to be pursued.

Reaching our target audience

Reaching older people with unsupported sight loss are our target audience and in that we have been successful. However, throughout the project is it has proven phenomenally difficult to reach local older people from BME, faith and LGBT communities, possibly due, in part, to the ratio of people from said demographics living in the Staffordshire and York.

Overcoming key challenges

The project has presented a number of challenges over the last 17 months, in particular engaging beneficiaries to participate in Staying Active clubs, held at Action for Blind People.. We are currently working on providing this service at sheltered housing schemes and retirement homes, in Staffordshire.

Additional funding and OPTiC branding

With the project coming to a close and our legacy firmly imbedded in the local community, no additional funding will be pursued.

The OPTiC brand is consistently used for all communication processes and will continue to be used beyond the lifecycle of the project, as appropriate.

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About opt1csilverdreams

Optic is a partnership of trusted organisations which will enable older people, especially those with or at risk of sight-loss, to develop and implement strategies to manage the changes they encounter in later life and reduce isolation.
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