Dear All

I hope you are all managing to keep safe and well.

I am taking this opportunity to update you with what is happening at Southampton Sight.  In these unprecedented times there is a fine line to be drawn with maintaining as much service as we can with keeping expenses to a minimum.  We have had to cancel 4 fundraising events and our regular weekly income has been stopped.  Mandy and I have also been through our expenses with a fine toothcomb and have reduced these to the minimum. Over the last 4 years the Southampton Sight team of Staff, Trustees, Volunteers and our Members have all worked together with such energy to ensure our future and this has put us in the best possible position to deal with this crisis but, with all of this in mind, the Trustees and myself took the difficult decision to furlough (lay off) Sonia, Gail and Angela.  Furlough is a government led scheme that will pay 80% of laid off workers wages.  This will be reviewed regularly, and they will return to work as soon as it is possible.

We will continue to support our members and people living with sight loss via our telephone service.  If we can help in anyway, please contact us on 023 8076 9882. 

Mandy has now moved all administration and accounts to her home and with the support of Kate, Maria and volunteers will continue regular calls to our members and organising shopping and prescription deliveries.  Lorna is currently reviewing our policies and taking this time to develop a new policy handbook for the charity – something that we have been keen to do for a long time.  I will continue with general governance, fundraising, keeping abreast with policy changes and other multiple things running the day to day business and will be the main keyholder for the building.  I will be at Southampton Sight on Tuesdays.

Our team of staff and volunteers have stepped up and done whatever they can do to help.  They have been grocery shopping, sourced, ordered and delivered specialist equipment, collected prescriptions, given advice on local support services and managed to deliver some personal requests. They have also made over 400 telephone calls and will continue to do so as long as they are needed.  This is just a small taste of what they have been doing, and I’m incredibly proud to be surrounded (virtually) by them.

What’s most amazing to me though, is seeing the resilience, kindness, generosity and humour come from all of you.  You’ve found countless ways to show us that humanity can thrive even in – or especially in – hard times. You fill me and us with hope for the future.

We feel incredibly fortunate that we’re in a position to help, and we’ll continue to look for ways that we can do more.  But in the meantime, thank you for supporting us and for being such a source of inspiration.  We look forward to returning to 3 Bassett Avenue as soon as we can and resuming a regular service.

Please keep in touch and remember that we are here to help and we would love to hear from you.

Keep safe, keep well and keep sane

Jackie Powers CEO

Howard Fair Chair of Trustees

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