Southend in Sight celebrates its volunteers during Volunteer Week

Southend in Sight celebrates its volunteers during Volunteer Week

Southend in Sight, Southend’s local, independent sight loss charity, has a 70 strong team of volunteers across its services and it celebrates them in this Volunteer Week, 1-6 June 2022.

Southend in Sight volunteers cover a range of the charity’s activities: in the shop, as trustees, in technology and as support for members. Those volunteers who work in the shop have been celebrating the fact that their efforts helped to raise £80,000 last financial year. It takes a big team of 40 volunteers to sort, steam, sell online, Pat test, price and sell donations to support the work of the charity.

The volunteer “Tech Team”, Steve Bickell and Paul Weavers, ran 115 sessions in 2021 helping 47 people with IT support. Their work is much appreciated by local visually impaired people. The charity receives a great deal of positive feedback from users of this service.

The charity’s trustees work behind the scenes keeping it on track to achieve its aim of effectively supporting local visually impaired people. Their experience is drawn from a wide range of different backgrounds, careers and life events and their advice and guidance is an important asset to Southend in Sight.

“Talk and Support” team volunteers chat to 90 people on a regular basis offering friendship, advice and a listening ear.  The emotional support they have provided during the pandemic and beyond has made a significant impact on those who cannot get out and about easily and would otherwise be isolated.

Catherine Hodgson, Community Fundraiser for the charity,  said “Our volunteers invaluable support means we are able to help more local visually impaired people.  On Wednesday 1 June we met up altogether for the first time in 3 years, enjoying a fish and chip lunch, fizz and fun to say Thank You for their time and unstinting commitment to our small but vital charity. Sometimes even a small action can make a big difference and we are extremely grateful to all our volunteers who often go the extra mile to help our users and the staff.”

Southend in Sight is the Community Services Division of the long-established Southend Blind Welfare Organisation. Its base at 117 Hamlet Court Road offers support, advice and equipment to young and old experiencing sight issues. It is currently only open for booked appointments, but the charity’s shop at the same address, is open daily Monday to Saturday.

For more information on the services provided by the charity, please call the Southend in Sight office on 01702 342131 or email

Jamie Langstone