RNIB has received £21,000 through Pennies so far and over the past two years the charity has been putting your donations to work delivering specialist services for blind or partially sighted people. For some beneficiaries, like teenager Olivia, this support is life-changing for both her and her family
Many blind or partially sighted children and young people grow up with additional complex needs including physical, cognitive and communication disabilities, high health needs or learning difficulties. One of the ways your pennies are put to use by RNIB is at the RNIB Pears Centre for Specialist Learning, where children are helped to reach their potential for learning and fulfilment.
When Olivia, 16, first came to the Pears Centre seven years ago, she struggled with all aspects of social skills, including walking and eating. Other than people’s voices and the Spice Girls, she couldn’t tolerate almost any sound and would lose her voice from screaming as she tried to drown them out.
At the Pears Centre, social workers were able to build a relationship with Olivia, gradually introducing her to new sounds to get her engaging with her environment. Now, she is able to listen to all kinds of music and sounds and also recently took her first few steps without any kind of support.
“The staff at RNIB Pears Centre take such good care of Olivia. They have helped her to achieve so much,” explains Olivia mum, Natalie.
“Before she went there she was a very frustrated little girl who screamed at everything, we didn’t know what to do. Now she is a happy young lady who enjoys herself to the full. It’s amazing how much she has changed.”
Your donations help specialist centres like the RNIB Pears Centre put on activities to help engage young blind people like Olivia. An interactive theatre trip, for example, can cost around £200 and £4000 can help pay for four young people to enjoy an activity holiday. These are just some of the ways your donations have supported the charity, with every penny they receive helping to make a difference for blind or partially sighted people.