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Preston sight loss charity awarded ‘generous’ two-year grant by West Lancashire Freemasons

Posted on - 28th September, 2021 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Penwortham, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, South Ribble News
West Lancashire Freemasons with Galloway’s staff

The West Lancashire Freemasons have awarded a £57,310 grant to Preston sight loss charity Galloway’s.

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The charity used the funding to reduce social isolation amongst visually impaired residents, with a success rate of up to 43 per cent during the pandemic.

Galloway’s ensured blind and partially sighted people across Lancashire and Sefton did not feel forgotten whilst the nation faced intermittent lockdowns.

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The grant came through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, funded by Freemasons, their families and friends across England and Wales.

Stuart Walpole, Community Sight Loss Advisor at Galloway’s, said: “We are really grateful to West Lancashire Freemasons for its generous grant, which has allowed us to make sure blind and partially sighted people aged over 50 who live alone do not feel forgotten.

“The feedback we had from a sample survey showed that the number of people who felt they now had someone to speak to had gone up by 43 per cent after our support, and the number of people who felt they had reasonable access to virtual social groups had jumped up 41 per cent.

“This is really pleasing to hear, knowing that we are making a difference in people’s lives. It is great they are gaining confidence in being able to communicate with others, access support and even go out on our Get Active walks.”

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The team focused on more than 200 people over the age of 50 who were feeling lonely, encouraging them to join Talking Together sessions, where they dialled in to chat with their friends, listen to guest speakers and enjoy activities.

Sight loss advisors carried out almost 1,000 welfare calls and made several doorstep visits to drop off visual aid equipment or offer practical help.

Tony Harrison, the Head of West Lancashire Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Galloway’s carry out this important work during such an isolating time.

“It is great to see how their work has had an impact in reducing isolation and increasing people’s access to virtual support.”

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