Project information

Social Activity Clubs for Visually Impaired

Social and activity clubs for blind / visually impaired people across Dorset, to reduce isolation and improve quality of life. Funding to cover running costs of 25 social clubs, dance, sport, craft, audio book clubs and more. The majority of beneficiaries from the charity (89%) are older than 55.


Charity information

Dorset Blind Association

Dorset Blind Association logo
  • Need


    Over 30,000 people in Dorset live with serious sight-loss. Many rural areas have few accessible community services or public transport. Almost two-thirds of people registered blind or partially-sighted never or rarely go out, causing loneliness and depression. Public buildings are often not accessible, causing isolation and social exclusion. Many people report withdrawal from many aspects of life including social, leisure and everyday tasks.


    25 Clubs around Dorset for people with sight / hearing loss providing a positive atmosphere tailored to their needs. 80% of people feel less isolated as a result of our service: “I do so appreciate the clubs. Otherwise my life would be very lonely”. 89% of our members are over 55 years old, attending clubs across Dorset. Clubs allow members to make friends and take part in activities that they would not otherwise get a chance to experience; giving much needed confidence, wellbeing and happines

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reduce Isolation


    » Structured social groups: transporting people out of their homes to join other people with visual impairment, and sighted volunteers
    » Provide transport enabling access to the club or activity. Encourage and support independent travel wherever possible, particularly younger members
    » Programming activities which encourage people to learn and share together, and promote team-work.

    Recording the number of people attending clubs each year, and different activities that enable them to interact with one another and the wider environment.

    Aim 2

    Develop Skills and Confidence


    » Provide various activities relevant to the abilities / interests of the members. E.g: music, crafts, cookery, sports, trips
    » Encourage members to engage in organisational aspects of the club

    Use member feedback to measure increase in self-esteem and achievement.

    Aim 3

    Maintain physical well-being


    » Physical activities including supported sessions of sports such as tennis, goalball, cricket, sailing, acoustic shooting and more

    Assess feelings of service users via questionnaire to ask if members feel better as a result of the physical activities. Count number of sports clubs set up and results achieved

  • Impact


    The project helps people with sight / hearing loss maintain healthy, independent, socially active lives. This reduces the reliance on local health and social care services that cost public money. Social clubs promote independence, develop social skills and address issues of isolation. Sports clubs improve fitness, and all clubs improve happiness and wellbeing via regular social contact, reducing isolation, depression & loneliness. Our member survey demonstrates these successes


    1. Difficulty in finding sufficient volunteers – regular advertising via usual streams and word-of-mouth
    2. Unsuitable or unpopular activities – proper investigation and gauge interest before launching new activities, encourage regular feedback from members and drive members to take ownership.
    3. Accessibility – provide transport services to collect and return members so location should not be a barrier to access
    4. Accidents – proper training of volunteers, insurance and risk assessments


    Project will be reported on our website, newsletters and social media. Donors are welcome to sign up for our newsletter via our website. The project's output will be included in our impact report which highlights success and provides both qualitative and quantative measures of the charity’s work

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £20,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £6,800 Activities Activities, Entertainment, Tutors and Material
      £6,300 Transport Member Transport To and From Clubs
      £2,900 Facilities Room Hire and Refreshments
      £2,500 Volunteers Volunteer Training and Recruitment
      £1,500 Support Costs Administration and Advertising
  • Background


    The Dorset population is just over 750,000, of these more than 174,000 are of retirement age. The Dorset population is ageing faster than the UK average, three Dorset areas are in the top ten fastest ageing places in the UK. Sight and hearing loss incidence increases with age, so Dorset has a greater proportion of people with these disabilities than UK average. Much of the county is largely rural and has some of the most deprived areas nationally in terms of access to essential services


    Clubs are a service for people with sight and/or hearing loss across Dorset, and each month over 450 people will attend one or more of these 25 clubs. The social clubs and many of the handicraft clubs specifically benefit mainly older people, in fact 89% of our members are older than 55. Volunteers also reap benefits, with over 90% gaining a sense of accomplishment and new skills.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have proven track record of successfully providing these clubs, we have the members, contacts and infrastructure required to run the service effectively and proof that lives are positively affected as a result of the clubs. All we are seeking is funding support to enable the clubs to continue, having come to the end of our funding stream. No other charity provides equivalent variety and breadth of service across this area so please help us continue this valued service to those who rely on it

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Community Support Workers

    Community Workers oversee volunteers who take on many roles including club leaders, activity co-ordinators, instructors, drivers and guides


Refreshments at a club meeting

I do so appreciate the clubs, events and activities. Otherwise my life would be very lonely

Club Member