Sight Support Worthing is the new name for a very old charity.
Worthing Society of the Blind has served the town for more than 100 years and has a wonderful headquarters in Rowlands Road.
The charity’s brilliant work continues under the new name Sight Support Worthing, which was officially launched this afternoon by Worthing mayor Alex Harman with the cutting of a cake featuring the new logo.
Chairman Barry Ward said the board of trustees wanted to move away from the word blind as a lot people had said it was putting them off approaching the charity for help.
“They weren’t blind. They had been diagnosed with a signifiant high condition that could not be corrected but they weren’t blind,” he explained.
“Many of them felt quite resistant to the idea of approaching what they saw as a society that was helping blind people.
“We wanted a name that said on the tin what we do and we believe that the new name does exactly that.
“We feel quite strongly that there is a number of people out there who could benefit from our service but don’t, either because they don’t know about us or they have got the wrong idea of what we are about, who we support and how we do it.”
The new name is part of a wider campaign to raise the charity’s profile to ensure people with a diagnosis that means they are going to lose a significant part of their sight are at least aware that the charity is there to help them if they want support.
Representatives from a number of organisations that work with the charity were at the official launch, held at the headquarters, to help spread the word.
Frances Pritchard, headquarters manager, said: “The board is trying to increase awareness of the charity and ideally increase the membership, which is currently about 350.
“The charity supports anyone in Worthing with a significant visual impairment - very few of our members are totally blind.
“Therefore, we have selected a name that we think better represents what the charity is aiming to do, i.e. to provide support to those with a visual impairment.”
Visit www.sightsupportworthing.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01903 235782 for more information.