A diverse group of volunteers experiencing vision loss need your help to be able to support fellow kiwis going through similar struggles.
After I was diagnosed with a couple of eye conditions causing ongoing vision loss, I struggled to find anywhere to share, to grieve, to source the right support and information to ultimately re-plan my life and to re-establish myself. I felt BLINDSIDED!
Speaking with others affected by vision loss across New Zealand, I found I was not alone in these struggles. Together, we are now raising funds to set up #Blindsided NZ as a Charitable Trust.
What is #Blindsided NZ?
The aim of The Trust is to augment the great work already underway by established organisations, agencies and groups by providing end to end support for those diagnosed with a condition resulting in vision loss. We currently have a Facebook group and social media presence across various platforms including Twitter and Instagram and have commenced local meet-ups. By connecting people across New Zealand though social networks and localised meet-ups we will help to ensure valuable connections by developing a wider reach and therefore provide a better level of support to more people across New Zealand.
Because we are not medical professionals, we do not offer medical advice. Instead, #Blindsided NZ offers hope by sharing published research and materials, along with information on emerging technologies and (legitimate) treatments and trials. #Blindsided NZ provides emotional support, friendship, advocacy, low vision assessments, as well as referrals to agencies where appropriate, alongside coaching support and accessibility awareness (including adaptive technologies) through various mediums, including meet-ups and an opportunity to chat over a coffee.
We aim to work with other established agencies in the low vision sector and ensure that there are no gaps in the vision loss client pathway from pre-diagnosis through to supported living and beyond. In filling this gap, we will be confident that no-one gets left behind, as I was, on diagnosis.
Why a Charitable Trust?
Being a Charitable Trust allows us to apply to funding and grants and it is important to us that we do not charge a ‘membership fee’ to those wanting to access the support and services they require.
What support does #Blindsided NZ need?
We are seeking support to raise funds to set up #Blindsided NZ as a Charitable Trust and expand our reach through these priority initiatives:
1. Covering the legal costs for the establishment of Charitable Trust
2. Set up and facilitation of sessions around the country for members and guests to meet and share stories (the first trip is planned from Dunedin through to Whangarei – October 2020)
3. Development of a basic website, and hosting package
4. Development of a marketing and communications strategy and plan
Blindsided NZ is on the way to becoming Charitable Trust, offering support and provision of Low Vision assessments, coaching and advocacy for those seeking support with their referrals to various organisations for further services.
After I was diagnosed with a couple of eye conditions causing vision loss, I struggled to find anywhere to share, to grieve, to source the right information and support to ultimately re plan my life and re-establish myself. I felt BLINDSIDED!
So I set up #Blindsided NZ to offer friendship, information, and support to those that have been diagnosed with Macular Degeneration and other eye conditions resulting in vision loss and low vision. We set up a Facebook forum to develop a community who can find comfort, hope, and support through sharing stories and progress, asking questions, and offering advice.
We are seeking support to raise funds to set up #Blindsided NZ as a Charitable Trust. All funds will be used solely for this purpose. Including legal costs and development of website and marketing.
Overdue update! 27 November 2020
Well, the first leg of the tour is complete and I am very excited to let you know that we currently have 8 advocates (including myself) around the country who will be ensuring that we have support meetups in various locations - let me know if you are keen to get a list and / or contact details!
My caravan is currently in for repairs so I have no firm dates for the (rest of the) South Island leg but rest assured it will come :)
Really appreciated all the support received throughout the North Island and top of the South - thank you.
Now some great news - as you know we received Charitable Trust status on the 22/07/2020 but there were some hiccups in the process of getting the bank account sorted. Its finally happened!
What that means is that donations that were previously paid into my account (Chrissie Whitfield) are (from now) going to be paid into our formal Blindsided NZ account, and those donations will now be tax deductible.
Please do share this page with your networks - we are looking to put together a basic website and every donation is appreciated. Also don't forget, if you are based in Christchurch, we have a fundraising event on December 5th at Moon Under Water in Somerfield - all proceeds of Three Boys beer purchased between 3pm and 5pm will go towards #Blindsided! Yayyy!
See you there?
Wow John! Much appreciated - thank you so much x
Thank you so much for your donation and comment. We will be starting out in Hamilton on the 1st October, before heading to Sth Auckland (Manukau) and then Whangarei. The itinerary and updates will be shared on our open FB page https://facebook.com/Blindsided-NZ-Vision-Loss-Support-Page-115374370182617/
Awesome 😎 thank you so much - really happy to have your support.
Sharon thank you so much - really appreciate your support xx
Thank you so much Simon! Much appreciated :)