Group for the blind boosted by £500k

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A county-wide charity supporting vision-impaired and blind people to live independently has received a funding boost of almost half-a-million pounds.

Northumberland County Blind Association (NCBA) has been successful in its application to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund and has been awarded £495,921.

The Key Communications project will enable continuation of 17 social-inclusion projects, clubs and support groups for vision-impaired people across the county, development of a dedicated county-wide information service and provision of an IT course using specialised adaptive technology and equipment for those with sight loss.

Two new positions have been created, an information and voluntary services manager, and an IT tutor who will work alongside a volunteer coordinator and more than 100 volunteers.

Lorraine Dryden, NCNA chief executive, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news; a massive, bright ray of sunshine in what has been a number of very grey, lean years.”