Hundreds more visually impaired people will benefit thanks to a grant from the ED Charitable Trust.
Many people with sight loss live alone and are often unable to read newspapers or watch the television, so a radio becomes their lifeline to the outside world.
However the costs of adapted equipment can be too great for someone on a low income, which many blind people are, so British Wireless for the Blind Fund is here to provide the sets on free loan to people who meet its criteria.
BWBF, which is based in Albion Place, provides around 3,500 radios a year, but there are hundreds of people which the charity believes are eligible for help but are not on its radar.
Thanks to a generous donation from the ED Charitable Trust, BWBF will now be able to launch its Reaching Out project which aims to find more people who could benefit from its sets.
The funding will be used to gather the most up-to-date numbers of visually impaired people and also data on means-tested benefit provision across the UK, as one of BWBF’s criteria to qualify for a set is that potential recipients are on such a benefit.
All this information will then be analysed against where the charity has already issued radios.
Once the areas have been identified where there are people in need, BWBF will deliver a targeted campaign to raise awareness of its work which will hopefully result in it providing more sets.
The charity relies on local blind societies and volunteers to distribute its equipment around the country, so the project will also involve getting more people on board to help with the planned increase in set demand.
It is hoped that at the end of the project, another 500 people living with sight loss will have benefitted from a specially adapted radio.
BWBF Trusts Officer Frances Fielding said: “We are so grateful to the ED Charitable Trust and would like to say a huge thank you to them for the grant.
“We have been excited about this project for some time and it’s great to be able to get it off the ground.
“We’ve been aware for a few years that we are not reaching everyone through traditional routes but have lacked the resources to research where other people are and also to cover the costs of more sets.
“We have already made a start with the research side of the project and are looking forward to when we can start distributing sets to new people.”