4SIGHT – West Sussex Association for the Blind - was established in 1921 to support blind and partially sighted people in West Sussex. We now support over 2,000 members and provide people with a wide range of practical support solutions to help them remain independent following sight loss.
Our main aim at 4SIGHT is to improve the lives of blind and partially sighted people with sight loss. Whoever they are, whatever they do, wherever they find themselves. We support in many different ways though services, visits, information, guidance, advocacy and support.
Our aims are to enable people to:
- Adjust to sight loss
- Make the best use of low vision
- Combat social isolation
- Access appropriate information and advice
- Maintain independence
- Participate actively in their communities and family life
- Access facilities and open spaces, across town and country
- Access high quality personal social care and clinical services, with appropriate and timely choices
- Influence service design, provision, commissioning and planning
- Make informed choices about their own health and wellbeing
- Campaigns to remove barriers to independence and inclusion
- Promotes eye health
- Supports volunteering and employment of blind and partially sighted people
- Ensures that blind and partially sighted people participate fully in the governance of 4SIGHT.
4SIGHT supports these aims by providing valuable and much needed services, enabling blind and partially sighted people to remain as independent as possible. Members can access both free and subsidised services delivered in the home, in the locality and in adapted resource centres. As well as the 4SIGHT Centres in Bognor Regis and Shoreham there are local clubs across West Sussex where members can meet for a wide range of social activities.
In addition to the clubs, services include low vision assessment, a listening and information service (based in local eye clinics), equipment loan and purchase, transport, transcription and an extensive audio library backed up by home visits where requested, and a newsletter.
We do this work largely thanks to the help of over 500 volunteers. Everything we do is to ensure that visually impaired people are able to access the information, advice, equipment, skills and services needed to continue to live independently after sight loss, build confidence and to participate actively in their community and family lives.
Our work is largely self-funded, through donations, community events, our own commercial activities including charity shops, and the support of trusts, foundations and local authorities.
The charity is a company limited by guarantee and is governed by its Articles of Association. The company number is 3740647. 4SIGHT Trading Limited (Company No. 4654280) is also controlled by 4SIGHT.
4SIGHT has a small staff team and a large number of trained volunteers, and operates primarily within the county of West Sussex. Operationally, the service is managed through several teams, with Outreach Workers working geographically from our Resource Centres, dedicated support for hospital-based services, volunteer and information, finance, fundraising, shop and other specific projects.
We also have six Area Committees of volunteers and members. These committees are co-terminous with the local authority boundaries in West Sussex i.e. Arun, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex, with the Adur Committee also covering Worthing Borough.
Membership of the Association is open to subscribers and those who the Trustees admit. This is generally open to anyone with an interest in our work. In practice this has largely been the following;
- people with sight loss, mainly living or working in West Sussex;
- voluntary workers and committee members;
- council and health service staff who are concerned with the health and wellbeing of blind and partially sighted people;
- other individuals or representatives of organisations who are interested in the work of the Association and pay an annual subscription.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
The Board sets the strategic direction for the organisation, and management of the activities is exercised through the Chief Executive and the Management Committee. Trustees are also the Directors of the company. They are also members of the Association.The Trustees shall consist of:
(a) the Honorary Officers ( Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer);
(b) up to three individuals nominated by local area committees;
(c) up to six members elected by the members at the AGM, of which not less than three shall be blind or partially sighted people.
The Board of Trustees:
- meets at least four times per year;
- authorises the appointment of senior staff;
- each calendar year appoints a Management Committee to deal with all financial and general business of the Association; and
- approves a business plan and budget for the coming year.
The Annual General Meeting;
- elects the Officers of the Association and,
- elects up to six members of the Board of Trustees
- approves the annual report and accounts.
From time to time the Trustees may also recommend appointment of other honorary officers, Patrons, Vice Patrons, Presidents and Vice Presidents who shall be members of the Association.